Martin Luther King Assassination Research Paper

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Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on the evening of April 4, 1968 while exiting his hotel room. The news of King’s assassination left the African-American community shocked, disappointed and outraged. The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. triggered various responses from the black and white communities. The black community’s main response was widespread violence throughout the United States, resulting in demises and military involvement, while a few decided to hold peaceful protests in King’s memory. Many in the white community celebrated, while others feared for their lives. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination fashioned a divide amongst the black and white populations, destroying lives, property, and necessitating the government’s…show more content…
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death was publicized at 8:19 p.m. on April 4th in Washington D.C. by radio broadcast. Merely an hour later riots broke out around the city. Rioters destroyed windows and set fire to buildings (Burns, Rebecca p. 23). By midnight there were no less than a hundred fires recorded by the fire department (Burns, Rebecca p. 23). One man was so furious about the killing of Martin Luther King, Jr. that he hurled a Molotov cocktail through a store front window without realizing his grandmother resided in the upstairs apartment (Burns, Rebecca p. 29). This is an illustration of how resentment can make a person proceed without thinking clearly. Had he stopped to think about the consequences first, his grandmother’s home would not have been destroyed. There were riots reported in more than 100 cities across the United States (Rosenthal, H). Riots were reported in Chicago, Baltimore, Newark, and Detroit just days after the announcement of King’s death (Davey, M. p.25). Several millions of dollars in damages ensued after the riots and left neighborhoods recovering for decades (Davey, M. p.25). The riots devastated the lives and properties of many in the United…show more content…
sparked many emotions within the two communities. The majority of the African-American community responded to the news of King’s murder with outrage and violence. Some in the white community celebrated, while the majority feared for their lives and anticipated a war between the two communities. More than 23,000 federal troops assisted in gaining control over more than 4 cities just days after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. With a relatively low death toll, the federal troops succeeded in limiting the damage and death throughout the United States. Violence was not the only reaction to King’s death as demonstrated by the students who attended Duke University and William Penn Senior High School. Although, the students were clearly upset, they decided to use the nonviolence method in response to King’s murder. The students knew that King would not want his death to be pursued with violence and hate and therefore they showed peacefulness and

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