Martin Luther King Jnr and the Fight for Equality.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JNR. AND THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY 4
Martin Luther King Jnr and theFight for Equality.
One of the most recognizedcivil rights activists of the mid-twentiethcentury is Martin Luther King Jr. His contributions to equality andnon-discrimination of the African Americans have led to great reformsin thelaw and practice of the United States.During this period, racial segregation was very rampant in variousstates. There were laws such as the Jim Crow laws that legalized thediscrimination of the black people. MartinLuther King Jr. was a leader whoadvocated for change and removal of such laws through non-violentprotests.
Rosa Parksadamantly refused togive up her bus seat on December1st, 1955 inMontgomery and wasarrested forviolating the city`s code. Martin Luther King Jr, E.D Nixon, amongother civil rights leaders met to organize a citywide boycott toprotest against the treatment of the African Americans. Martin LutherKing Junior`s first speech included a declaration that they had noalternative but to protest. He said that a long time of patience andgiving white Americans the feeling that the African Americans enjoyedthe way they were beingtreated had notbrought about change. He stated that"We have come here tonight to besaved from thepatiencethat makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice." This propelled more civil rights movements in various states(King, Jr., 2010).
In 1957, Ralph Abernathy,King, and sixtyother ministers, and civil rights activists formed the SouthernChristian Leadership Conference to use the moral authority of blackchurches to conduct non-violentprotests to promote civil rights reforms. This organization wasresponsible for more than twenty mass gatherings inthe main southern cities.The organizationwas also involved in providing education and enlightenment to AfricanAmericans on the voting process. Later, in 1963, King organized ademonstration in Birmingham. The police released dogs,and water hoses on the masses and Martin Luther King Jr wasarrested. He wasput in jail but was letter published.Thisdid not deter him from pushing for equal treatment of all races. Thehistoric March on Washington took place onAugust 281963. More than 200,000 people attended. His speech included thefamous "I have a dream" speech (Carson, 2001).
This meeting and other civilrights activities led to reforms. The public opinion changed on thetreatment of African Americans and the Jim Crow laws. The CivilRights Act was passed in 1964 to authorize the federal government toenforce the removal of segregation policies on public accommodationfacilities. It also outlawed discrimination byrace in public facilities. Thismarked a new beginning for the African Americans regardingthe fulfillmentand enjoyment of their civil liberties (Carson, 2001).
MartinLuther King Jr is remembered for hisnon-violence policies. His lectures, speeches, and the boycotts hewas involved in all advocated for the use of peaceful protests tofight for equality for the black Americans. He is the most famousAfrican American leader of his era. His lifetime, and works arehonored with anational holiday. Many schools have also been named in his honor, anda memorial on Independence Mall in Washington DC. In the modernsociety, he isremembered asone of the greatest African-Americancivil rights activistswho made asignificant andunique contribution inthe fight for equality (Carson, 2001).
In conclusion, the relentlessefforts made by Martin Luther King Junior make him a great civilrights activist of his time. The boycotts, meetings, protests,speeches, and lectures brought about awareness on matters of racialsegregation and eventuallyresulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964and the removal of the Jim Crow law.
Carson, C. (2001).TheAutobiographyof Martin Luther King,Jr. Hachette. UK
King Jr. M.L. (2010).StrideToward Freedom: The Montgomery Story(Vol 1).
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