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How Successful Was Martin Luther King’s Campaign For Civil Rights In The Years 1955 1968?

3459 words - 14 pages

How successful was Martin Luther King’s campaign for civil rights in the years 1955-1968?

During this time period, Martin Luther King had many successes and failures in his campaign for civil rights. King played an iconic role in all the work he did for African Americans, his achievements for the Black people were outstanding. On the other hand there are ideas that contradict his greatness on making such an impact to civil rights.

We are able measure MLK’s achievements, by analysing how successful he was with his campaigns. Success can be given upon by the result of the predicted outcome compared to the true outcome. In this case it’s whether King’s ambitions for the movement came to ...view middle of the document...

This maintained his upbringing to be middle class; from here he went and earned a PHD in theology which would be considered rare for a black man to obtain. This improved King’s speaking, communicating and capturing people’s attention ability. King always believed in keeping moral high ground, by staying to his idea of non-violence and peace to win campaigns. By doing this he naturally gained support from the black community wherever he travelled to. So earning grassroots support from the church was very significant for the Bus Boycott as it allowed King to act out the campaign with many supporters on his side. King always believed in non-violence in every campaign he carried out, this ideology of peace attracted the attention of the media, federal government, themes of white sympathy and white backlash along with grassroots support. No matter if it was a march, sit-ins or boycotts; it always attracted attention on King’s behalf. Peaceful protest was a major factor to King and that’s why it received such responsiveness. King’s actions in the Boycott lead to the desegregation of buses in Alabama; this was issued by the Supreme Court on the 13th November 1956, due to the court ruling the Browder v. Gayle case of racial segregation on buses to be unconstitutional. This meant that blacks were allowed to sit where they wished on the buses without breaking the law. MLK became the icon for this campaign and for the rest of the civil rights movement. This campaign became a success as he managed to set out and achieve the goal of desegregation of the buses. Adding to this, MLK also received major help from grassroots support. African Americans started carpooling and dividing up their own transport systems using their own vehicles. This adds to the success of the Bus Boycott, creating it a truly successful campaign.

MLK did have many successes in the civil rights movement, but he also had some failures. One of these was the Albany campaign in November 1961, the SNCC started campaigning in Albany state college in Georgia. The SNCC organised sit-ins at the bus stations, which ignored the interstate commerce commission to desegregate. In addition to the sit-ins they were protest marches, park sit-ins, wade-ins and consumer boycotts. African Americans also refused to pay fines that were issued against them. By December that year MLK joined the protest in Albany, this also influenced grassroots support to grow but it wasn’t by much. Even from the very start of the campaign, there were problems, King was looked upon as an outsider as he joined the campaign a month after the start of the protest, he never really led the campaign, he did of course support it, but that was all. From this the SNCC looked at King as if he was an outsider to the Albany campaign. The other problems faced in Albany were that the police commissioner Laurie Pritchett wasn't willing to get involved with violence and was sensitive to the international media. So instead of fighting...

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