Martin Luther King Essay

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Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968) was a Baptist minister turned prominent Civil Rights Movement leader that campaigned for the progression of civil rights in America. In his 13 years of leadership, he and his associates achieved more in attaining racial equality for the African-American population than the combined efforts of activists 350 years prior, through protests, grassroot organising and civil disobedience to achieve their goal of ending racial segregation. During his leadership, five notable legislations were passed: ‘The Civil Rights Act’ (1964), ‘The Voting Rights Act’ (1965), ‘The Immigration and Nationality Act’ (1965) and ‘The Fair Housing Act’ (1968). In particular, his belief of non-violent resistance paved a way for …show more content…

After all, one of the principals of non-violence was ‘to win friendship and understanding’ (The King Centre, 2014). During his speech ‘Birth of a New Nation’ in 1957, King (as cited in The King Centre, 2014) claimed, “…the aftermath of non-violence is redemption. The aftermaths of non-violence is reconciliation. The aftermath of violence is emptiness and bitterness.” This claim partly provides a reason for why the concept was so important. Being from King itself, the quote gives an accurate, primary depiction of the perspective from which King and his followers protested from. Non-violence gave the two races a chance to reconcile and gain support for the Movement, whereas violence would have only created further animosity between the two. In addition, it was found that non-violence was not only effective for the Civil Rights Movement. After research was conducted on 323 violent and non-violent uprisings from 1900-2006, it was found that non-violent resistance was two times more likely to achieve change, even against dictatorial regimes or foreign occupation (Lyubansky, M., 2014). Lyubansky (2014), Ph.D, states this is because non-violence required lower costs, meaning higher participation and more varied strategies could be used. Using this information, it could be suggested that without non-violence, the Civil Rights Movement was less likely to of have succeeded. In

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