Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

Length: 1463 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
April 12, 2005      According to Lewis, Martin Luther King, JR’s goals and tactics can be divided into two periods, before Selma and after. The first period is distinguished by a decade of pioneering protest tactics in use to accomplish conventional citizenship rights for Afro-Americans. The second, less than three tumultuous years, was a time of nontraditional tactics in search of progressively more fundamental goals for the larger society. The first was moderately triumphant, but its accomplishment highlighted what yet lingered to be done before the poor, the powerless, and the racially disadvantaged could begin to attain equality of opportunity in America (Lewis, 245).
     The second period was distinct by comparative disappointment, and its heritage was the foresight of political power and economic welfare upon the poor, the powerless, and the racially disadvantaged. In the first period, King and his allies brought about the beginning of the violated community. In the second, the distant prospect of their adored society disappeared at Memphis. The magnitude of the decade ending with Selma was in the extensive repercussion of the protest (Lewis, 245).
     Martin Luther King, JR was chosen as leader for the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) over many other civil rights activists. Not only was he probably the best person to lead their boycott, but he was the person “best suited to become the leader of the larger struggle for racial rights” (Lewis, 246) . For the Montgomery’s Afro-Americans, in order to resist successfully, it must be nonviolent and passive.
     In 1956, King, along with several allies, entered a public bus in front of his house. It was the start of community harmony. Inspired by King’s personal courage, despite “jeopardized jobs, intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan, and harassment by the police and bombs“ (Lewis, 246). A city regulation was called upon to ban organized taxi transport of bus boycotters. With money raised in the vicinity and from gradually increasing donations from national labor, libertarian, and religious organizations, the MIA bought many vehicles. The city wanted and got an accusation of King and more than eight other MIA members for planning to intervene with standard business activity. Sentencing by the Montgomery court and appeal to the federal courts followed. Just as MIA leaders awaited the expected unfavorable decision from the municipal court on November 13, “the U.S. Supreme Court decreed Alabama’s state and local laws enforcing segregation on buses unconstitutional” (Lewis, 246) .

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Martin Luther King." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Jun 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=76418>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Martin Luther King Jr. Essay examples

- It’s 2015 and we live in a world that still sees man and judges’ man by the color of his skin. Now let’s step back in time fifty something years ago. The lines have been drawn whites on one side and African Americans on the other. Where would you be standing, would it be on the forefront of the battle lines fighting for equality or shouting from the rooftops racial slurs and spreading hate. Through the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given to by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”(King, 2)....   [tags: African American, Black people, Martin Luther King]

Research Papers
1101 words (3.1 pages)

Martin Luther King Jr. Essay

- It’s 2015 and we live in world that still sees man and judge’s man by the color of his skin. Now let’s step back in time fifty something years ago. The lines have been drawn whites on one side and African Americans on the other. Where would you be standing, would it be on the forefront of the battle lines fighting for equality or shouting from the rooftops racial slurs and spreading hate. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given to by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”(King, 2)....   [tags: African American, Black people, Martin Luther King]

Research Papers
1129 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about Dr. Martin Luther King

- People who look similar, often associate themselves as having the same mindset and thoughts. This is often not true though because every human being is brought up differently and will experience other things than what their twin will experience. This gives them a whole different view on everything they do. Dreamer: A Novel a book by Charles Johnson is about Dr. Martin Luther King and his thoughts during the time he was constructing his civil rights movement. In the book King meets a look alike that is almost an exact replica of him....   [tags: Thought, Mind, Cain and Abel, Martin Luther King]

Research Papers
730 words (2.1 pages)

Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King Essays

- Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King It is early months of 1963 in the southern city of Birmingham Alabama. A city that lies in civil unrest and bitterly divided. A city to which African Americans march, hold protests and sit-ins in an effort to gain equal rights. They are met with brutal opposition in the form of police officers, attack dogs and water hoses. During this time of utter chaos two separate civil rights leaders speak out on their beliefs. Reverend Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King both speak on the issues of violence, the media and the will of the Negro people as a whole in a effort to win support for the African American Community....   [tags: Jesse Jackson Martin Luther King]

Free Essays
779 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., A Political Icon

- There are a select few individuals who have come variously to be called "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 Luther King's contributions to history place him in this inimitable position. One of the great figures in the march of human history, Martin Luther King Jr., like Gandhi before him, lived by a heroic credo of non-violence. More than two decades since his death, Martin Luther King ideas; his call for racial equality, his faith in the ultimate triumph of justice, and his insistence on the power of nonviolent struggle to bring about a major transformation o...   [tags: Martin Luther King]

Research Papers
1425 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about Dr. Martin Luther King’s Funeral and Assassination

- Dr. Martin Luther King’s Funeral and Assassination Word spread like wildfire when the news of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination hit the public. As the leading civil rights activist in the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. preached words of peace and understanding among races. A well known name throughout the North and South, King gained extreme popularity within the African American community. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated a wave of sorrow spread across the nation. With rage, sadness, and hopelessness in the public eye, clearly the assassination hurt more than just one man, it hurt a nation....   [tags: Martin Luther King]

Research Papers
1592 words (4.5 pages)

Writing Inspired by the Death of Martin Luther King Jr. Essay

- The story takes place a few miles from New York City in 1968. The reader is introduced to a nine-year-old boy who is dropped off at a theatre with his friend in the outskirts of the town. The theatre plays horror-films, which excite the boys. As they enter the theatre they knew this wasn't a regular movie theatre. A black man served them their drinks and as they sat down on the front row they discovered that they were the only whites in the theatre. Their instinct told them to fly, but at the same time the theatre went crazy as a werewolf attacked its victim on the screen....   [tags: Martin Luther King]

Free Essays
1035 words (3 pages)

Essay about Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail

- Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" In his essay "Letter from Birmingham Jail", Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. disproves the assumptions of people that believe racism is acceptable when he compares the maltreatment of blacks to the inhumane treatment of the Jews by Hitler. King establishes a relationship with his audience by connecting on a level that is larger than the exploitation of African American's rights. He forces his readers to think about the execution of millions of Jews that was ordered by Hitler....   [tags: Martin Luther King Jr]

Research Papers
1225 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Biography of Martin Luther King Jr.

- Biography of Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B....   [tags: Martin Luther King Civil Rights Movement Essays]

Free Essays
875 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

- The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a well known man in many cultures of the world. Dr. King was and still is one of the most influential heroes in American history. King's views and beliefs, which were similar to the non-violent ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, helped African Americans through the 50's and 60's obtain the rights and liberties that was their birth right. King faced many obstacles on his quest like jail and even assassination attempts. Despite these obstacles, he became a successful leader during the Civil Rights Movement, and even after his death, by guiding African Americans in a non-violent and positive direction for the fight to secure rights and equality....   [tags: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.]

Free Essays
1135 words (3.2 pages)

Related Searches


     The method for nonviolent civil rights campaigns was whole in Montgomery: “mounting of increasingly provocative peaceful demonstrations; gross acts of violence by white citizens and outrageous misconduct by local law enforcement and judicial bodies, relentlessly reported by the national media; this led to direct or indirect federal intervention and negotiated settlements” (Lewis, 246). King’s platform in public speaking, stimulating charisma in the community and his internationally reported stay in jail were exceedingly efficient.
     The mixture of King’s personal resources and nonviolent tactics have a far more difficult appearance than they often did at the time. Indeed, he and his association were continually terrorized by the cruel irony that unless they prompted savage feedback from their opponents, the nation tended to accuse his organization’s motives and reprimand King for disturbing what seemed as slow yet systematic racial progress in a given community (Lewis, 247).
     The recently produced Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), were at first nervous with and then antagonistic to King’s traditional role as a race leader. Wherein “King and his followers were not so much “genuine” versus “tactical” nonviolent passive resistance, but King’s leadership credibility” (Lewis, 247) .
     Once King left Montgomery for Atlanta at the end of 1959, the doctrine of nonviolent passive resistance and the channel to advance it were securely in place. Albany, Georgia, a severely isolate town, was King’s first major hindrance. The first goals were humble: “integration of interstate bus and rail facilities and the formation of a permanent biracial civic committee. But three fundamental elements were amiss in Albany: 1) SCLC planned poorly; 2) local white opposition was resolute and intelligent; and 3) the federal government withheld active support. Each other these elements operated synergistically, so that the conduct of one rapidly determined that of the others” (Lewis, 247).
     When activists marched to Albany’s court house to push demands that intensified over the months to end all segregation ordinances and cause adoption of a fair hiring and employment policy for the city and its businesses, law officers issued polite orders to disperse, patiently arresting and assembling the demonstrators for transports to jails. Violence finally broke out on July 24, 1962, “the person behind was not the red-faced, overweight policemen wielding clubs, they were 2,000 rampaging Afro-American teenagers. King’s embarrassment was so great that he adjourned demonstrations for a ‘day of penance’” (Lewis, 249).
     Birmingham, Alabama was an outstanding triumph for King and his movement. The goals were to “desegregate schools, public facilities, and commercial institutions, initiate hiring and promotion of Afro-American personnel in downtown retail stores, and establish a biracial committee to monitor racial progress” (Lewis, 249). Here the three fundamental elements were promising: “1) SCLC planned well; 2) local white opposition was divided and part of it ideally intemperate; and 3) the federal government intervened decisively on the side of equity” (249) .
     In 1963, King, Abernathy, and Walker went to Anniston, Gadsden, Talladega, Montgomery, Birmingham, and the countryside in the region of Selma as part of SCLC’S “People-to-people tour to stiffen the resolve of Alabama Afro-Americans to place their names on voter rolls and to garner needed area support and national publicity for the campaign” (Lewis, 249). Furthermore, there was an extremely victorious Los Angeles fund-raising assembly planned.
     Birmingham set the moral stature of King in the national awareness. The Birmingham Manifesto said the conditions that determined the people of that city to act defiant and the basis of that defiance: “We act today in full concert with our Hebraic-Christian, the law of morality, and the Constitution of our nation. The absence of justice and progress in Birmingham demands that we make a moral witness to give our community a chance to survive” (Lewis, 249).
     His detainment and isolated imprisonment is a product in the second document, the commanding “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Countering numerous white southern preachers and rabbis who damned his behavior as undeserving of a man of God, the jailed author wrote that he had approached to pass the “gospel of freedom to a city of injustice” (Lewis, 249) . “Like Paul…respond to the Macedonian call for aid” (250). But not anything amazed the interracial boast as much as King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the third remarkable document of the Birmingham period.
     In 1964 Time magazine chose him as its Man of the Year in January, the first Afro-American selected. But less than three weeks later, race riots swept through the North, beginning in Rochester, New York, and spreading to New York City, Chicago, and, by early August, Jersey City, New Jersey. Fortunately, the year ended on a positive edge for King, he received the Nobel Peace Prize, the second Afro-American honored (Lewis, 252).
     In 1965, the nation was also now well into a foreign war that would exhaust resources to progress social circumstances. King completed that after years of working with the thought of “reforming the existing institutions of the society, a little change here, a little change there,” it was time for major changes (Lewis, 254). “The cities of America must be rebuilt so that the poor could live decently and work productively in them” (254).
     Resistance caused him to hesitate on the war issue, but ultimately King’s choice of a new direction turned on the innermost point of his moral perception of his role. “Racism and poverty were evils; it if meant embracing controversial positions and allies to eradicate them, conscience left him no other choice” (Lewis, 255) .
     King called on “the politically weak, the economically deprived, the angry young of all races, and the disenchanted liberals” to come together as a convergence of action adequately commanding to force the progressive awareness of Washington (Lewis, 258).
     King reflected populist politics at its most daring, in which he unified the “ethnically, economically, culturally, and geographically disparate for long-term objectives” (Lewis 258). “Our challenge is to organize the power we already have in our midst. Powerful enough, dramatic enough, morally appealing enough, so that people of goodwill, the churches, labor, liberals, intellectuals, students, poor people themselves” (258).
     King’s fresh method, a “Popular Front of racially abused, economically deprived, and politically outraged, cutting across race and class,” was compelling (Lewis, 259). It was also an approach that exposed King at his ingenious greatest as a leader and established the realist who adjusts his sway for the better to create a base for cultured, fair, and genuine social progress.
Return to 123HelpMe.com