Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Willhelm, Sidney M. pg5) This is a small portion of the speech by one of the most famous American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther king Jr. titled I Have A Dream. It is also perhaps the most remembered speech made by him. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, U. S. A and died on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the leaders during the civil rights movement that started in 1956 and ended on 1968, he lead for 12 years...
before being shot and killed by an asistin’s bullet. Martin Luther King Jr was well known for his practice of non –violent protest and his great speeches. As a young man he fought for the rights of black people and because of the way King handle himself and his dedication to the cause he was considered to be one of the important leaders during the Civil Rights Movement. His impact was positive and greatly needed.
There are many reason why King was such a great leader in the movement he was a great speaker who had the ability to move a nation into action with his powerful and moving speeches, his approach to counter the violence being used by others with a non-violent approach. He also did all this all the while putting his life a
risk for his people and the whole movement. Martin Luther King Jr. ability to tell positive and powerful speeches in front of thousands of people was one of the aspects to his great importance to the Civil Rights Movement.
They were thought out so well that it captured the hearts of many. His speeches were done for many different events and so many different reasons, but they were always brilliant. Through his speeches he provided people with a sense of security. His speeches talked about many things but mostly about how to make a change. King’s speeches often gave the oppressed black community a sense of dignity and reminded them to be proud of their blackness. On the day that Rosa park was taking to jail for her breaking a unfair segregation law known as the
Jim Crow Law Martin Luther King gave a speech a few days later telling the people not to strike back in violence but to strike back in a peaceful manner. A day later a man who was following the words of King describe how his words made him feel ‘ I left the hall to walk back down the avenue to catch a bus home, I was so filled with pride and enthusiasm, I felt as if my feet were barely touching the ground as I moved along, it was a profound personal experience that I will never forget’. (www. sol. com) this is an example showing how powerful the words of the Kings were. Another thing his speeches did was give people hope for the future.
He shared his dreams and told people how he
felt, and since many people had a strong belief in what he was saying they listened to him and followed his every word. His speeches also gave people a sense of direction. During the difficult times after people listen to King they began to know what to do when they were in faced with troubles. His words sent the message that violence wasn’t going to solve anything it would just make things worse. ‘I am convinced that the method of non-violent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and human dignity.
Therefore, I have advised all along that we follow a path of non- violence, because if we ever succumb to the temptation of using violence in our struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of the long and desolate night of bitterness’. (Levy, Peter B. pg. 20) Mr. Kings, influence on the people was so strong during the civil rights movement that they began to listen to his every word. Non – violence was the thing he was must against, if anything that was the only thing he hated more than racism and the other bad things that were going around in the world. Mr.
King took up the non-violent practise from Mahatma Gandhi and his “movement”. The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot rive out hate: only love can do that (drmartinlutherkingjr. com) When king preached to his people he would about things his people wanted to approach he would commence them to stop. An example ‘I do not want to give the impression that non- violence will work miracles overnight. Men are not easily moved from mental ruts or purged of their prejudice and irrational feelings. When the underprivileged demand freedom, the privileged first react with bitterness and resistance. Even when the demands are couched in non-violent terms, the initial response is the same... The non-violent approach does not immediately change the hearts of the oppressor.
It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them a new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally, it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality. ’(www. sol. com) Here he says why he opposes to violence; speeches like these saved many of his brother’s lives. In one case a black woman named Rosa Park sat in the white section of a public bus, she was soon told to move by the bus driver and go to the black section in the back of the bus.
After refusing to do so the bus driver called the police and she was arrested. When the black community found out
about this they were in rage and wanted to started rioting, but King gave them another idea. He gave them the idea to instead of a violent protest they could do a non-violent protest to get their point across. He suggested they stop using the public buses and walk, this suggesting went a long way and it got their point across that they didn’t need violence to make a stand, and since no one was breaking any crimes no one could get in trouble for their actions.
Kings word of non-violence also helped lower crime rates. His preaching gave black used their sense and they keep their pride and instead of rioting they protested. Because King had changed so much there were many people that wanted him died. Martin Luther King Jr, was a target for many whites that disapproved of what he was doing, but although he may have been afraid he didn’t stop doing his work, instead he continued to put his safety and wellbeing on the line.
Kings house was bombed many time during the Montgomery bus boycott, but the first real time he ever faced amuse danger was in 1956 when he was signing papers and a African American Women named Izola Ware Curry stabbed King with a letter opener. After being stabbed King had to undergo surgery luckily it was successful, but sadly it took 6 months for him to recuperate during the 6 months he was recovering he couldn’t take place in any protest activity. This one incident shows the real dangers king faced.
In 1963 Martin Luther King led a peaceful march in the middle
of Birmingham, but was shortly arrested because of a law prohibiting the civil rights marches that were going on in Birmingham. He and a group of blacks protested peacefully in the heart of Birmingham but were subjected to beatings, hosing’s, and the attacks from the police dogs. Martin Luther King with some of the men who took place in the march and during his time in jail he wrote his famous ‘letter from Birmingham” addressing the matter.
This is another example of King risking his life for blacks, he didn’t back down when police hosed him and he did not run when police beat him he stayed beside his men and took it. In March 1668 king went to Memphis, Tennessee to support African American sanitary workers. On April 3 King went back to his motel because of his plane delay because of a bomb threat made on it. As he was at his motel room a group of people gather under his balcony and king delivered his last speech now known ’Ive been to the mountain top’. In his speech he talked about the plane threat ‘And then I got to Memphis.
And some began to say the threats... or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I
just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you.
But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! And so I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord! (Darby, Jean. pg67) Unfortunately on April 4, 1968 Kings risk taken ways ended his life. He was shot on his motel balcony at 6:01 p. m. on that very night. He went to the battle lines time and time again to fight for equality and freedom. Before he was finally murdered at the age of 39, his home had been bombed and he knew he put his life at risk continuously to advocate social justice, human dignity, and an nd to racism. Because he was so ready to fight for his people it encouraged many to fight for themselves, they felt if someone else will fight for me they might as well fight for themselves too and if someone else was willing to put their life at risk for them they would do whatever it took to change the world. Martin Luther King Jr. was that man who help change the world as we know it. He ignored the hate and focused on the love and continued therefore this made him have a good and strong impact on the civil rights movement and all of America.
Therefore Martin Luther King, Jr was a major impacted
to the civil rights movement. He not only brought his powerful personality but he also brought his love, joy and many other things to the ranks. He fought for freedom and equality, and he did so with some much passion never ready to give up and for that he is so loved. He spoke loud to crowds about his dreams of making the world a better place and a better future. He also had such tremendous dedication and love that it couldn’t be possible he was so effective that he now has his own holiday.
He was so outnumbered by those who didn’t like what he was doing, there were so many that wanted him dead but he stood strong and continued to do what he must for his people. He didn’t serve anyone but the people he fought for himself and others that have unfairly been unjust; he fought them with his powerful words, love, visions, goals, and attitude towards everything he did. For this he will be forever remember by people from everywhere around the world. A man who stuck up for a cause until it his life was taken, a man who loved all and had everyone ahead of his own wellbeing. Martin Luther King Jr legacy will never be forgotten.
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