Martin Luther King Jr Essay

1677 words - 7 pages

Martin Luther King Jr. an American Leader
Jessica McElrath
Santa Clara University School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

ABSTRACT:
There are a select few individuals who are able to still be recognized as "great" or "brilliant" because they and their accomplishments have forever changed society and the world. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of those individuals. Martin was raised in Atlanta Georgia, growing up in a world of segregation gave him the ambition to live by a heroic credo of nonviolence. People in his community looked up to his ability to be an outstanding leader, he was asked to be in charge of an organization named MIA (Montgomery Improvement Association). ...view middle of the document...

It is commonly believed that the greatest influence on king was Gandhi.
After Martin Luther King Jr. finish school he moved to Montgomery Alabama with his wife Coretta Scott King. He took a position as a minister at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, offering him $4,500 annually (Mc,Elrath, 2008).In 1955, Alabama had a large African American population of 37 percent. Just as other southern cities did, Montgomery enforced a strict code of segregation. Separate facilities such as schools, parks, drinking fountains and waiting rooms were provided for blacks. For most black residents, the bus was the most affordable ways of transportation. According to city ordinance, the first ten seats on the bus were reserved for white passengers and the last ten seats were for black riders (Mc.Elrath,2008). Black passengers would have to give their seat up if a white passenger needed it. Rosa Parks decided she was not going to comply with this law and she was arrested. A man named E.D. Nixon heard about this incident and met local black leaders to take the case to challenge Montgomery bus segregation practices. King was contacted and was asked to help, he was very hesitant and had some concern about his growing family. His first child Yolanda King had just been born and such commitment would require time away from him wife, newborn and church. Hours later, after thinking of all the pro’s and con’s to the situation king decided to provide his support for the boycott. After a support group was arranged for the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), the entire black community had boycotted ridding the bus. This made the town lose a lot of money. It also started hatred for Martin Luther King and his family. After being harassed, having death threats put out on him and his family, King never gave up. He was a great leader for his family and his community, people looked up to him and counted on him to achieve his goal of having black rights in the south. The city of Montgomery did whatever they could to end boycott. On June 5, 1956 the federal appeals court decided that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Throughout all the struggles and all the hard work, the MIA had finally won a victory. The Supreme Court rejected the city appeal on December 17, 1956. Four days later, bus desegregation took effect. With the Montgomery boycott behind him, King was ready to lead and expand the movement throughout the south. Martin worked very hard and spent a lot of time into arranging great speeches around the south, he wanted everyone to hear his thoughts and he did a great job at making sure he was heard. To carry out this mission, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was formed to organize the movement. (Mc. Elrath, 2008). King was now in the spotlight and he found that fame failed to keep him out of experiencing the highs and lows of leadership. Dr. King’s family had been shot at and police were harassing him. He announced at a mass meeting that even if he was...

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