Complexities of Dr. Martin Luther King Essay

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Martin Luther King, Jr.’s impact on the civil rights movement was nothing short of monumental. To say anything less may be considered sacrilege in the history of the United States. King’s liberal and Christian upbringing, comfortable and educated childhood, and his theological education all played a large part in his contributions to civil rights in America.
Perhaps one of his most sustained acts was his ability to represent the plight of African American rights while simultaneously portraying a palatable character to White America. In addition to leading various civil disobedience campaigns, he served as the movement’s main “strategist, theorist, and symbol maker” while also becoming the “movement’s chief interpreter to white
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Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” In just these few short sentences, the overall impetus of King’s belief structure is outlined. Obviously, whole books have been and continually are written about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s theological belief structure, so much so that this small overview can hardly do it justice. With that said, it is my firm belief King’s theological understanding, and his love for a “radical” Jesus, are the foundational tenets and perhaps his most enduring contribution to the civil rights struggle.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s influence on the civil rights movement, and his personal beliefs, were in fact flexible. From 1955 to 1968, King experienced a variety of shifts in his public actions. This, of course, seems understandable and quite natural. As with anyone’s beliefs on a subject, they are constantly being challenged, reinforced, and reinvented. MLK was not expectation. What originally started out as legal challenges to Jim Crow laws, during the beginning of King’s involvement, eventually evolved to include poverty in America, housing discrimination, and an anti-Vietnam/anti-war stance. In fact, King started to shift from historical civil rights reforms to more local and urban campaigns. Above all though, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s involvement always held true to his Christian beliefs, as “his activism was motivated by a deep faith in God that was

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