REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING
- Introduction & Background -
Martin Luther King was an African American evangelical preacher from Montgomery, Alabama, and a pillar of the American Civil Rights movement in the 1950s-1960s.
King was very much influenced and inspired by Mahatma Gandhi; Gandhi’s ideas of peaceful resistance reflected well with King’s Christian beliefs. He gave speeches to his followers - who were large in number - about that very topic and always encouraged non-violence, particularly at one time, after his home had been targeted by his enemies. On this day, hundreds of his outraged supporters came to him with offers to avenge the attack on his home, but King refused.
- Successes & Awards -
His speech “I Have a Dream” is one of the most famous speeches in the history of the world. It tells of his hopes for the future, that his children “would not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the depth of their character.” Many people were deeply touched by his words.
In the bus boycotts of Alabama, King was a leader. These boycotts dealt a large blow to the transport companies of the state, because a large percent of bus users were African Americans. The purpose of these boycotts were to bring attention to the unfairness of segregation, and King’s non-violent approach was used throughout.
King was also the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, when he was only thirty five years old.
- Conclusion -
All in all, Martin Luther King's efforts; his constant encouragement of non-violence, his uplifting and inspirational words, and his courage and persistence in the face of danger makes him one of the most significant people involved in the Civil Rights movement.
The passive resistance that was carried out under his direction may well have saved many, if not hundreds of people from being hurt, imprisoned and even killed. His work forced the attention of the higher powers down to the things that were happening, because of the discriminating laws against the African American people. King was a wonderful leader, and eventually his persistence paid off to achieve the “great change” that he had hoped for.
Researched and Written By
Cody B Mitchell