Martin Luther King's Influence Of The Civil Rights Movement

analytical Essay
1400 words
1400 words

The Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s was a mass mobilization and unification of people from varying backgrounds fighting for equal rights and equal opportunity for Black Americans. Black male leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. preached about equality and challenged people to consider social injustices within society. The leadership qualities and influence of Dr. King are undeniable. His rhetoric united Black America and identified their entitlement to the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Dr. King’s inspiring speech for Black’s to “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”, motivated White and Black …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the civil rights movement was a mass mobilization and unification of people from varying backgrounds fighting for equal rights and equal opportunity for black americans. the leadership qualities and influence of dr. king are undeniable.
  • Explains that the civil rights movement was about racial equality for black women and addressing and challenging gender disparities. both white and black american women experienced sexism and discrimination in the 1950’s.
  • Argues that black women were treated as second-class citizens in the movement just as african americans were in society at large. the overgeneralized mentality that "men led, but women organized" relinquishes women of leadership qualities.
  • Analyzes how the civil rights movement encouraged black men to establish their "manhood" in the face of adversity. gender consciousness led males to seek their own power within american society.
  • Explains that black women shared a common goal for freedom from oppression, but also to be treated equally. the history of white's suppressing blacks motivated and mobilized the masses.
  • Explains that the denial of visible leadership roles by their black male counterparts did not constrain black women from forming their own definition of leadership.
  • Explains that black women were fundamental leaders in mobilizing the masses to participate in the civil right movement.
  • Explains that due to males dominating visible leadership roles and the existence of patriarchy, black women had to strategically maneuver themselves through the expectations of the civil rights movement.
  • Explains that black women were fundamental to the civil rights movement's success. their activism as "bridge leaders" allowed women to strategically operate within their gender and race expectations.
  • Explains that black women faced triple constraints within society which prevented them from being recognized within the civil rights movement.

Influential Black male ministers like Martin Luther King Jr., were regarded as pillars within the Black community. A Black women activist noted that “a lot comes from the traditions of the church and the male minister as the leader, the person whom you’re supposed to obey.” The traditional gender roles and values therefore prevented Black women from becoming ministers, deacons, or heads of the Southern Baptist church. Consequently, the accomplishments of “visible titled leaders” are credited for their activism and overall success of the Civil Rights Movement. Leadership cannot just be narrowly based on visibility, authority, and/or charisma. It is by these definitions that the contributions of Black women in the Civil Rights Movement have been ignored and overshadowed. Specifically, the overgeneralized mentality that “Men led, but women organized” relinquishes women of any leadership qualities and …show more content…

Bernice McNair Barnett conducted several interviews with Black women activists. Through her collection of oral histories, Black women acknowledged expressing concerns of followers, defining and setting goals, and providing an ideology for a justification for action as their primary leadership duties. They also fundraised, recruited members, assisted in community welfare. This illustrates the leadership role of Black women was not one dimensional. Rather it was through their obligation to the movement that motivated other people to engage and participate in the Civil Rights movement. Fundamentally, these leadership roles established community relationships to the movement. Black women were accessible for their community, and thus established support

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