The Voice of Civil Rights
There were many people throughout the history of the United States that helped to get equality for African Americans; however, one man's voice moved an entire race. That one man is Martin Luther King, Jr. He has a way of making you listen when he speaks and of making you understand his ideas. Many people did listen and he motivated a whole race of people to strive with him on his quest for equality. The events in his life from early life, civil rights, and later life led him to be one of the most powerful people in the movement towards civil rights.
Martin Luther King, JR., was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929 to Martin Luther King and Alberta ...view middle of the document...
He fell in love with her and Martin's father married them on January 18, 1953, at Coretta's home in Alabama. They would go on to have four children, Yolanda, Dexter, Martin, and Bernice. In 1954 King was offered the Pastoral ship at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. His father installed him pastor on October 31, 1954. (Michael)
The start of King's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement began in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger and was jailed. Community leaders formed the Montgomery Improvement Association and asked King to be the leader. The organization would urge blacks to boycott the buses and use other means of transportation. The boycott lasted 381 days. On November 13, 1956 the Supreme Court declared that Alabama's bus segregation was unconstitutional and on December 21, 1956 buses were desegregated. (Michael).
Due to his involvement in civil rights terrorists would bomb his home and threaten him by phone and through letters. Despite this King stood by nonviolent ways and studied Gandhi's techniques during a trip to India. With the help of other black minister King organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and served as president for the rest of his life. It helped promote nonviolence and black equality. The SCLC worked for voter registration, political education, leadership training, education in nonviolent methods, and economic development (The World Book Encyclopedia).
Black college student began sit ins at facilities that refused to serve blacks in Greensboro, North Carolina. The movement quickly spread throughout the south and black students were frequently joined by white students who sympathized with them. King urged the young students to continue there nonviolent ways. Out of the movement the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) formed and for a time worked closely with the SLCC. In 1963 with the help of the SCLC associates King launched a massive demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the most segregated cities. Police used violence to drive out the peaceful protestors. Not long after President John F. Kennedy proposed a civil rights bill to congress (The World Book Encyclopedia).
In an effort to get the bill passed and to help with job for African Americans King organized the famous March on Washington. On August 28, 1963 over 250,000 Americans, both white and black, gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear the number of speakers. King gave the most powerful and captivating speeches of the day, his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, where he says.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live up the true meaning of its creed. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all mean are created equal.' I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that my four little...