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The many contributions of martin luther king jr to the black american rights

Articles Explore articles from the History Net archives about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

His eloquence as a speaker and his personal charisma, combined with a deeply rooted determination to establish equality among all races despite personal risk won him a world-wide following. His success in galvanizing the drive for civil rights, however, made him the target of conservative segregationists who believed firmly in the superiority of the white race and feared social change.

He was arrested over 20 times and his home was bombed. Ultimately, he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of a motel where he was staying in Memphis. A monument to Dr. King was unveiled in the national capital in 2012.

His father, in a 1957 interview, said that both he and his son were supposed to be named for the leader of the Protestant Reformation but misunderstandings led to Michael being the name on birth records.

The boy became the third member of his family to serve as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father. His training and experience as a minister undoubtedly contributed to his renowned oratorical style and cadence. He also followed the educational path taken by his father and grandfather: He then went on to study theology at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, an integrated school where he was elected president of his senior class although it was comprised primarily of white students.

In 1955, he received an advanced degree from Boston College in Massachusetts; he had completed the residence for his doctorate two years earlier. In 1991, a Boston University investigatory committee determined he had plagiarized portions of his doctoral dissertation; plagiarism was also discovered in his word at Crozer.

However, the committee did not recommend his degree be revoked. Evidence of plagiarism had been discovered by Boston University archivists in the 1980s. While in Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, who would be his lifetime partner in both marriage and his campaign for civil rights.

Negroes, the term then used for the African race, were relegated to the back of the bus and had to give up their seats if a white person wanted them.

Since many blacks lived in poverty or near-poverty, few could afford automobiles, and public busses were essential to them for traveling to and from work and elsewhere.

During the boycott, King became a target for segregationists. Personal abuse, arrest, and the bombing of his home made clear the risks he would be taking if he continued to work with the movement for civil rights. In 1957, that movement spawned a new organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, to focus on achieving civil rights.

Martin Luther King Jr. Articles

King was elected president. King strongly influenced the ideals of the organization. During the next 11 years, he would speak over 2,500 times at public events, traveling over six million miles.

He also wrote articles and five books to spread the message farther.

In 1963, he was a leader in the massive civil rights protests at Birmingham, Alabama, that drew the attention of all America—indeed, of the entire world—to the discrimination African Americans faced and their demands for change. Like Martin Luther King, Jr. Although King stressed nonviolence, even when confronted by violence, those who opposed change did not observe such niceties. Protestors were beaten, sprayed with high-pressure water hoses, tear-gassed, and attacked by police dogs; bombings at black churches and other locations took a number of lives; some, both black and white, who agitated for civil rights such as the right to vote were murdered, but the movement pressed on.

King was the most prominent leader in the drive to register black voters in Atlanta and the march on Washington, D.

His message had moved beyond African Americans and was drawing supporters from all segments of society, many of them appalled by the violence they saw being conducted against peaceful protestors night after night on television news. At 35, he was the youngest man ever to have received it. His anti-war position was an outgrowth of his belief in nonviolence, but to those who opposed King it intensified their belief he was pro-communist and anti-American. The mayor, Henry Loeb, staunchly opposed all these measures.

King was solicited to come to Memphis to lead a planned march and work stoppage on March 28. That protest march turned violent when sign-carrying students at the end of the parade began breaking windows of businesses, which led to looting. One looter was killed and about 60 people were injured. The city of Memphis lodged a formal complaint in the U.

He and those leaders negotiated with the factions among the workers and their supporters who had initiated the march. Assured that they would observe the creed of nonviolent civil disobedience, King agreed to return to Memphis for the re-scheduled march on April 5. The district court had issued a restraining order, however. Representatives of the SCLC met with the judge on April 4 and worked out a broad agreement that would permit the protest march to be the many contributions of martin luther king jr to the black american rights on April 8.

Details were to be worked out on April 5. They prepared to go out to dinner, along with their colleagues. When King stepped onto the balcony in front of his room, he was shot and killed. He was just 39 years old. In direct contrast to the nonviolence he had preached, riots broke out following Martin Luther King, Jr.

In Chicago alone, nearly a dozen people died, 350 were arrested for looting, and 162 buildings were destroyed by arson. James Earl Ray The FBI quickly identified James Earl Ray as their primary suspect in the killing; his fingerprints had been found on the rifle and scope believed to have been used in the assassination, as well as on a pair of binoculars.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The fatal shot had been fired from the bathroom window of a nearby rooming house. Ray, a high-school dropout who had escaped from a Missouri prison in 1967, was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London, England, on June 8. In March 1969, he pled guilty and received a 99-year prison sentence. He escaped in 1977 but was recaptured after three days.

  1. A few months went by before he would speak to me. His birthday has become a national holiday, when government offices and many private businesses close to honor his memory.
  2. But neither King nor the press knew that privately, for more than two weeks, the president, his attorney general brother and their closest civil rights advisers had been secretly putting together an outline for a dramatically far-reaching civil rights bill that the administration would place before Congress. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution.
  3. On the evening of June 11, John F. Randolph and Rustin imagined as many as 100,000 protesters besieging Congress on one day in May and then a public mass rally the following day.

The True Story by the Alleged Assassin, giving his version of events, which suggested there had been a conspiracy and a government coverup. Ray never provided sufficient details to support his contention of a conspiracy and coverup, but many besides the Kings doubt he acted alone. Among the conspiracy theories is one that claims FBI director J.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Facts

Edgar Hoover, who intensely disliked and distrusted King and had kept him under surveillance since 1962, was involved in the assassination—but like other theories about who killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ray was never released from prison. He died of liver failure on April 22, 1998, in Nashville, Tennessee. New black-power activists did not accept his philosophy of nonviolence as a way to achieve their goals. After successfully campaigning for Carl Stokes, the first black mayor of Cleveland, King was not invited to the victory celebration. The next civil rights challenges, such as fighting poverty, were more abstract compared with the clarity of issues like discrimination in hiring and the use of public amenities.

These new concerns would likely have proven more difficult for him to achieve the same levels of success as he had in his previous campaigns for equality and justice. On the last Saturday of his life, he mused about quitting his full-time role in the movement, though he seemed to talk himself out of that, according to one of his fellow activists, Jesse Jackson. Yet, the lasting legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Among the prominent legacies of his ability to organize and energize the movement for equality are the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

His birthday has become a national holiday, when government offices and many private businesses close to honor his memory. A portion of the Lorraine Motel, including two persevered rooms and the balcony on which he was assassinated, are part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

His eloquent words live on, inspiring others who see injustices and seek to change them.

It is impossible to imagine such sweeping change would occur as quickly as it did without a leader like Martin Luther King, Jr. Garrow Martin Luther King Jr. Philip Randolph, a longtime trade union activist and the senior statesman among African-American civil rights leaders, who first suggested such an event early that year. Indeed, Randolph had planned a similar mass descent upon Washington two decades earlier, in 1941, before canceling the demonstration after President Franklin D.

Roosevelt agreed to stronger federal anti-discrimination policies. Randolph and Rustin imagined as many as 100,000 protesters besieging Congress on one day in May and then a public mass rally the following day. Up until May of 1963, President John F. The Birmingham protests, however, drew the Kennedy administration into daily, face-to-face attempts to arrange a truce in a local crisis that had rapidly spiraled into a major national news story and then an international embarrassment to the United States.

Birmingham, and the worldwide news coverage its violence received, catapulted the Southern civil rights struggle to greater national prominence than it had ever before attained. The transcripts of those wiretaps were released to me, pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, in the many contributions of martin luther king jr to the black american rights mid-1980s.

But neither King nor the press knew that privately, for more than two weeks, the president, his attorney general brother and their closest civil rights advisers had been secretly putting together an outline for a dramatically far-reaching civil rights bill that the administration would place before Congress. On the evening of June 11, John F. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. King publicly amplified that thought a week later in Birmingham: The other was the Kennedy administration, which quickly invited King, Randolph, Young and other civil rights leaders to a private meeting with the president on June 22.

The only effect is to create an atmosphere of intimidation — and this may give some members of Congress an out. On July 17, President Kennedy, choosing to embrace the inevitable, publicly endorsed the March, and administration officials quietly began assisting March planners in innumerable ways. When typed out and mimeographed for advance distribution to the press, it came to less than three legal-size, double-spaced pages.

Yet for King to produce any sort of an advance text for a speech was almost unprecedented, since whether at civil rights rallies or in Sunday morning church sermons, Martin Luther King Jr. As Drew Hansen writes in his new book The Dream: After master of ceremonies A. After quoting the prophet Amos on justice and righteousness, King was close to the end of his prepared text.

He later recalled that moment: King had indeed used it before — in Albany, Ga.

  1. But in the years after 1965, the glow of the 1963 March, and of the entire 1963—65 civil rights apex, rapidly receded. King was the most prominent leader in the drive to register black voters in Atlanta and the march on Washington, D.
  2. His eloquence as a speaker and his personal charisma, combined with a deeply rooted determination to establish equality among all races despite personal risk won him a world-wide following. In 1955, he received an advanced degree from Boston College in Massachusetts; he had completed the residence for his doctorate two years earlier.
  3. Ray was never released from prison.

He ended with a line he often used as a closing: Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! It was a gift that King had polished in black Southern churches for more than a decade, a gift that movement colleagues had encountered from the onset of the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott forward, but only on August 28 did such a huge crowd, plus a live national television audience, hear the extemporaneous genius that made King such a remarkable preacher.