Essay about The Contribution of Martin Luther King to US Affairs

1186 Words Mar 15th, 2014 5 Pages
What was the contribution of Martin Luther King to US affairs?

1) Introduction:

1. Before 1945, the Negro community was regarded as socially inferior within the United States.
2. While slavery had been abolished in 1863 under President Lincoln, segregation was commonplace, especially in the southern sates.
3. The Jim Crow laws were in place to maintain this segregation and in 1896, the Supreme Court ruled these laws constitutional.
4. However, the growing discontentment among the Negro community, helped by the new wave of liberalism spreading throughout the US in the late 1940s, meant that pressure for change was building.
5. In the late 1950s and 1960s the movement began gathering legs through the successful cases of black
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3. As leader SCLC, King organised and led marches in an attempt to achieve equal voting rights, labour rights and desegregation for the Negro community.
4. On the SCLC’s Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in 1957, King addressed a national audience for the first time.
5. King had a set a clear precedent through the success of his peaceful protests and the Negro community obliged.
6. The non-violent Lunch Counter Protest in 1960 saw groups black students defying the whites only lunch counters in 54 cities across the Old South.
7. Similarly in 1961, the Freedom Riders tested the supposedly desegregated interstate buses, without the use of violence.
8. King had shown to the minorities of America that violence was not necessary to achieve change, a message adhered to by the Chicanos and Native Americans in the years to come.

5) Marches:

1. The campaigns and marches organised by Martin Luther King greatly impacted on US affairs.
2. In April 1963, the SCLC began a campaign against racial segregation and economic injustice in Birmingham, Alabama.
3. King organised intentionally contentious sit-ins and marches in occupied public spaces across Birmingham City.
4. King and the SCLC were also the driving forces behind the intense demonstrations in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1964.
5. The movement marched nightly through the city and suffering violent attacks from white supremacists, with hundreds of the marchers

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