Every human can make a change in this society or world or another person’s life, so here I took the topic of essay also about the person who made a change in Afro- Americans lives in the United States. Writing by this essay, I wish to share the pieces of information about Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s leadership, his contributions in civil rights movement and his peaceful protesting way against social injustice to my classmates, and how he taking hold of his knowledge and courage to fight for equality in civil rights.
“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live” (Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes). Did you ever hear the words before, and what is your thought about these words? These are the words of the charismatic and inspiring leader Martin Luther King Jr. He was a scholar and minister who led the civil rights movement. After his assassination, he was memorialized by Martin Luther King Jr. Day (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). MLK was a very influential leader who fought for social injustices especially against segregation and racism, and finally he made a significant change in society. Martin Luther King Jr. was an inspirational civil rights leader in American history. Some motivating things about Martin Luther King Jr. are his significant life, his style of leadership during the civil rights movement, and his legacy after his death.
The King was born and grew-up in a segregated nation where the afro-Americans were treated unequally by racism, and this situation leads him to his unique way of non-violence protest. King was eternally linked to his nonviolent theory as a means to what he believed would solve the United States race conflicts ( During the time MLK was growing up, segregation was legal. Black and white people were kept separate in businesses, services, and public places.
The facilities black people used were often run-down or dirty. MLK encountered racism from a very young age. In his college days, MLK began to think about ways that he could help fight racism and segregation. MLK’s religious education and Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful methods of resistance were major influences that lead him to non-violence protest against social injustices. (Martin Luther King Jr. “Book”). He studied the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, and he learned how the Indian nation won freedom without ever firing a gun. Martin said “Love,” when others said “hate.” The “Montgomery’s bus boycott” is the best example for King’s non-violence protest method.
In that protest, black Americans were arrested and beaten and murdered. But they kept on marching. Some black Americans wanted to fight with their fists. Martin convinced them not to, by reminding them of the power of love. (“Martin’s big words” – Book). About a year after the boycott began, the U.S Supreme court declared that segregation in buses was unconstitutional. King and the other activists were overjoyed. Their hard work and sacrifice had paid off. However, King knew that there were many obstacles left overcome by this way.
MLK’s speeches were powerful and important in several ways, and it brought even greater attention to the Civil Rights Movement, which had been going on for many years. When Martin was in college, he developed his public speaking skills and studied a variety of topics. In Montgomery’s bus boycott, King’s remarkable speaking skills and thoughtful sermons made him popular as a pastor. In 1957, King joined to Sothern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and King planned to help people across the country organized peaceful protests. He began to giving speeches throughout the nations and his fame spread around the world.
The protest continued and more and more Americans listened to Martin’s words. One of his remembered and greatest speeches is “I Have a Dream.” (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). In this speech, he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin. But by the content of their character….I have a dream that one day, town in Alabama little black boys and black girls will able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as a sisters and brothers.” King’s powerful words rang out around the world, increasing support of new civil right laws. (“Martin Luther King Jr.”).
Martin Luther King Jr.’s contribution in American civil rights movement in 1960s was very remarkable. Subsequent mass demonstrations in many communities culminated in a march that attracted more than 250,000 protestors to Washington, DC, where King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech in which he envisioned a world where people were no longer divided by race.
So powerful was the movement he inspired, that Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the same year King himself was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize (“Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Movement.”). Even with new law in place, local governments in the south found ways prevent black people from voting. In early 1965, MLK travel to Selma, Alabama, to begin a protest for stronger voting rights laws. He led several marches through the city. He was once again arrested, along with hundreds of fellow protestors. After his release from jail, MLK helped organize a march from Selma to the state capital in Montgomery.
However, the Alabama state police blocked their path and beat them with clubs. King had been preaching at his church in Montgomery. He was horrified to hear about the violence. MLK personally led a second march a few days later. Once again, state police blocked the marchers (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). The continued protest raised awareness of voting rights violations and led to the Voting Rights Act of August 1965. Though discrimination was more openly practiced in south, it affected black people throughout the country especially in cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles. In those places local laws made it hard for black peoples this often forced them to live in poor, run down areas. In 1966, King and his family moved to a poor black neighborhood in Chicago.
There, he planned to draw attention to the city’s unfair housing situation. In Chicago, King led marches and other peaceful protests as he had throughout South. However, these demonstrations made little difference in the city situation. In the face of these kinds of situations, many African American began embracing a different approach to fighting racism (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). King continues his support to fight against social injustice, and king continued his non- violent protest method for different civil rights movements. In 1968, King’s work brought him to Memphis, Tennessee and there he assassinated by a white man named James Earl. The nation was shaken by the loss of a great leader (“Martin Luther King Jr.”).
Altogether, Martin Luther King Jr. was remembered for his non-violent way of protests for social equality, for his inspiring and powerful speeches; and his incredible contribution to the civil rights movements. MLK was taught his followers to fight with words not with fists that significant protesting made him won. His inspiring leadership helped bring about some of the most significant changes in United States history. As the struggle to win equal rights for all Americans continues today, King’s contributions will never be forgotten.
- “Martin Luther King Jr.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 23 Jan. 2020, www.biography.com/activist/martin-luther-king-jr.
- “Martin Luther King, Jr, Civil Rights Movement : Youth For Human Rights Champion.” Youth for Human Rights, www.youthforhumanrights.org/voices-for-human-rights/champions/martin-luther-king-jr.html.
- “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. –I’ve Seen the Promised Land’.” New York Amsterdam News, vol. 107, no. 14, 31 Mar. 2016, p. 33. EBSCOhost,
- Lewis, David L., and Clayborne Carson. “Historical Significance and Legacy.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 11 Jan. 2020, www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Luther-King-Jr/Historical-significance-and-legacy