Martin Luther King Jr. And Gene Sharp

1371 words - 6 pages

Martin Luther King Jr and Gene Sharp



Martin Luther King Jr. once said "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." From where King stood during the Civil Rights Movement show that he was a great man who preached nonviolence and made the ultimate sacrifice for it. By being persistent in his nonviolence discipline, he was able to show the world the violence of their opponents' repression for what it really was. Gene Sharp's book, Power and Struggle Part One examines the nature and control of political power. Sharp believes that social sources of ...view middle of the document...

The famous March On Washington is the best example of a protest, The Montgomery Bus Boycott is one of the first noncooperation movements, and the movements in Birmingham are examples of nonviolent intervention.
In a Protest approach, the actions highlight the issue at hand and the strategy for responding to the situation. Specific methods include petitions, leafleting, picketing, vigils, marches, and teach-ins. These methods cause the least amount of disruption and confrontation of the three actions. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was the largest and most successful example of Protest during the Civil Rights Movement. On August 28, 1963, about 250,000 people marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. They listed to speeches made by America's civil rights leaders, including King. He was the last speaker to address the marchers, and it was then he delivered his most famous "I Have a Dream" speech. He was captivated his audience as he described his hopes for the future in an impassioned, rhythmic, and clear manner. The entire march was free from any riots or violence, even with both White and Black marchers amounts each other. They believed in King and any violence would have lessened the impact of his message, especially with the whole nation watching on television. The significance of the March was that it was the largest civil rights rally in the United States that called upon the government to equally enforce their laws that are suppose to protect its citizens. Although it was not instantaneous, the effects of the March on Washington eventually led the government to enact and enforce new laws, from civil rights to voting rights to human rights. It also changes in people's hearts and minds, which was a greater achievement in itself.
In a Noncooperation approach, protestors may refuse to participate in the behavior to which they object socially, economically, or politically. Specific methods include sanctuary, boycotts, strikes, and civil disobedience. The Montgomery Bus Boycott is an example of a Noncooperation action. It began on December 1, 1955 when a woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a full bus to a white passenger. After she was arrested, community leaders planned a boycott that would begin three days later. King led this group, the Montgomery Improvement Association, at the young age of 26. Their demands for the bus company was that seating be available on a first-come first-served basis, that drivers conduct themselves with greater civility to black passengers, and that black drivers be hired for the predominately black route. King encouraged all African Americans to not ride the bus in order to secure these demands. Because they were the majority of the bus company's customers, many buses rode around empty. Throughout the lengthy boycott, King always preached about his nonviolent principles. Although they might be the victims of violence, they would not retaliate with any...

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