Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And The Civil Rights Movement

1186 words - 5 pages

The 1960’s was a time period in which produced a plethora of social movements were taking place and consequently, laws were changed that affected our society as a whole. Some of those social movements were the Women Rights and Gay Rights movements, which were directly influenced by the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement produced many leaders, two of whom are Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz). King’s call for little black children to play with little white children, his admonishment of a black revolution due to the detrimental effects it would have on black and white relations, and his support of white and black children receiving the same ...view middle of the document...

’s philosophy made more sense because his philosophy called for the calm and serenity. The 1960’s was a time of violent counterculture and the controversial war in Vietnam provided the United States with constant reminders of divisions. King’s philosophy would be what the United States would need in such a time. Martin Luther King’s philosophy would protest certain unconstitutional restrictions on the account of race, but the use of violence that other leaders proposed, would be unacceptable to King. Subsequently, Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy made more sense because it called for unity. More importantly, it called for the stop of violence in society, which is what the United States needed in the divisive 60’s era. (Document B)

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. often painted the picture of two societies in his various speeches. Some civil rights leaders thought that the revolution of the black community would bring them a “seat at the table of brotherhood”. Martin Luther King Jr. instead called for action that employed the support of the white community. In other words, his call for peaceful protest would allow the changes in society to take place. He even said in his speech in Atlanta in 1967 that a violent revolution from blacks would find no support from the white community. He evoked feelings of peaceful protest through the teachings of Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi. During Martin Luther King Jr.’s lifetime, he lived through the protests and destruction of the neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles. The Watts Riots took place in 1965 and it involved the arrest of an African American driver by a police officer. Mobs of African-Americans rioted in the streets calling for fairness of policing. Thirty-four people died in the riots, while over a thousand people were injured in one neighborhood alone. Martin Luther King characterized the riots as causing more problems for the African-American community. During this time period, there was a known stereotype that blacks were “stirring up trouble” when they fought for their rights. Martin Luther King’s philosophy of peaceful protest of unjust laws was best for the 60’s decade because it prevented the loss of life. Additionally, his philosophy made the most sense for the 1960’s because it would allow black and white relations to strengthen in society. (Document O)

Public facilities were segregated throughout many states in the south and educational facilities were part of that segregation. Segregation was the “law of the land” in some parts of the country. Many civil rights leaders during the 1960’s felt that blacks in...

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