Premium Essay

How Successful Was Martin Luther King’s Campaign for Civil Rights in the Years 1955-1968?

In: Historical Events

Submitted By alexsharp
Words 3394
Pages 14
How successful was Martin Luther King’s campaign for civil rights in the years 1955-1968?

During this time period, Martin Luther King had many successes and failures in his campaign for civil rights. King played an iconic role in all the work he did for African Americans, his achievements for the Black people were outstanding. On the other hand there are ideas that contradict his greatness on making such an impact to civil rights.

We are able measure MLK’s achievements, by analysing how successful he was with his campaigns. Success can be given upon by the result of the predicted outcome compared to the true outcome. In this case it’s whether King’s ambitions for the movement came to be achieved or if his campaigns failed. For this we shall be studying his achievements and failures in the civil rights movement between 1955 and 1968. You can also look at how much awareness of the campaign was made to America, along with this the consequences of the campaigns and what resulted after them. You can use all of these criteria to judge how successful MLK was.

King’s first major involvement of leading a campaign started on the 1st of December 1955, when Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up a seat on a bus in Montgomery Alabama. This was when King was first recognised as being a strong leader in gaining equality for African Americans, along with the backing of the church. The result of Rosa Park’s arrest became the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was run by MLK, the NAACP, MIA and the backing of the church. This gave King his first real shot at showing the African American community that he was able to lead by taking over the campaign in Montgomery. He managed to capture the people’s attention greatly, which started the theme of grassroots support, at this point in time it was greatly reinforced by the church. MLK was a Christian Baptist minister of Dexter Avenue…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

The Comparison of Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X

...since the Reconstruction era after the Civil War there has been the issue of race and equality and rights. A movement occurred and two men gained power and influence the African American community. Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X two men having experienced different things in their lives held different beliefs and morals and influenced people based upon those things. Martin Luther King Jr., came from a Baptist home with a fairly easy childhood, he was educated when he was younger and attended Morehouse College, an all black college, where he had several role models that shaped his beliefs. Malcolm X, on the other hand, experienced a hard childhood and used drugs and committed other crimes in his early adult years. While in prison he found a father figure in Elijah Muhammad and joined the Nation of Islam. There are many differences between Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X in the way they acted and influenced the African American community. This paper will look to describe their differing views and analyze their actions and their lives. In most cases a person’s childhood has a lasting affect on the rest of a person’s life. In comparing Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X this seems to be the case. Martin Luther King Jr., was born January 19, 1929 and was raised by a strong supportive family. He had a somewhat privileged life and “never experienced the feeling of not having the basic necessities of life.”[1] His father “was a community leader in Atlanta......

Words: 3427 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Martin Luther King's Civil Disobedience

...Tim Kiernan Just needs to be in past tense Dr. Ryan Feigenbaum PHI 1000: Knowledge, Reality, and Self May 2, 2013 Nonviolent Protest Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most successful advocates of nonviolent protest not only in the 20th century, but in the history of mankind. He understood that nonviolent protest could solve the problems of the human race in addition to allowing mankind to understand that regardless of race, humans are more similar in every aspect of life than which they are aware. He recognized that his work had been criticized and that his work was “unwise and untimely,” but if he did not begin his efforts in striving for equal opportunity at the time, then when would it be considered a wise and timely point in history to do so? African Americans experienced over 340 years of oppression, segregation, and utmost hatred toward their race in America. In Birmingham, Alabama, the most segregated community in the country, Dr. King viewed more hatred toward his people than anywhere else. In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” he did not seek to solve all issues through writing, but to give the “white man” a general consensus of the situation and seek their understanding, not only as a civil rights advocate, but as a “Clergyman and Christian Brother.” The African-American community sought to negotiate peacefully with the city fathers, but they refused. The question then arose: Why they did not turn to violent action after the constant failure of......

Words: 1139 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Dr. Martin Luther King’s Funeral and Assassination

...Dr. Martin Luther King’s Funeral and Assassination Word spread like wildfire when the news of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination hit the public. As the leading civil rights activist in the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. preached words of peace and understanding among races. A well known name throughout the North and South, King gained extreme popularity within the African American community. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated a wave of sorrow spread across the nation. With rage, sadness, and hopelessness in the public eye, clearly the assassination hurt more than just one man, it hurt a nation. A single shot killed 39-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968. At the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, a sniper from about “50-100 yards away,” shot and struck Dr. King’s neck, while instantaneously killing him (“Martin Luther King Slain” 139). From the crime scene, F.B.I. investigators traced a “white Mustang automobile,” and an “‘unusually large’ amount of physical evidence” (Waldron 1). With fingerprints, the actual rifle, and eyewitnesses as definite pieces of evidence, F.B.I. agents concluded that a Caucasian man executed the assassination and that he would be very easily caught (Waldron 1). Eyewitness testimony even stated that the “saw a white man [ran] from the house immediately after the shooting” (“Martin Luther King Slain” 140). As a shocking and horrific event, the assassination of Dr. King proved to test the nation’s character.......

Words: 1620 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

How Important Was the Contribution of Martin Luther King to the Civil Rights Movement of the Years 1955-68?

...How important was the contribution of Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement of the years 1955-68? Martin Luther King was born on the 15th of January 1929. His father was a minister and all throughout king’s younger year’s king aspired to be just like his dad. King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, when he was twenty-five years old, in 1954. It wasn’t till a year later in 1955 that his involvement in the civil rights movement truly came into action. He had heard of a bus boycott, taking place in Montgomery; a young lad called Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, she was arrested and fined. There was then staged a boycott, it lasted for 385 days; the situation became so tense king’s house was even bombed, and he was arrested. Because of his extreme involvement this was the start of people viewing king as this national figure for civil rights. Some people do argue however king’s involvement to the cause was not that important, and it was more the action of the people and the long overdue action from the government that made the biggest contribution. The Boycott was most successful for both king and the civil rights movement; In December 1956 the court outlawed segregation on buses. This showed how much the public made an impact on protects, and showed how much king was a key figure in its achievement. After that in 1957 King and several other important activists including Ralph Abernathy, Fred......

Words: 1043 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

How Important Was the Contribution of Martin Luther King to the Civil Rights Movement in the Years 1955-68?

...How important was the contribution of Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement in the years 1955-68? The civil rights movement was aimed to give African Americans Social, Political and Economic equality after President Abraham Lincoln declared the freedom of all American slaves in 1862 Emancipation Proclamation and the thirteenth amendment was passed to the American constitution which announced slavery illegal. Despite the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments being passed to the US constitution they were never fully enforced since there was segregation in housing, voting, and education. Was Martin Luther Kings contribution to the civil rights movement the most significant in achieving equality for African Americans between 1955-68, or were other factors such as the Vietnam war, increasing political activists like Malcolm X and changes in the political climate as important? Gandhi’s peaceful protest methods was a big inspiration to Martin Luther King as this was also his main and only method of protest, he showed this in the Montgomery bus boycott since he highlighted the injustice of segregation on interstate buses in America only by persuading black people to boycott the buses. This protest lasted 13 months and was one of Martin Luther Kings most prominent role as a civil rights leader. The NAACP which turned to long standing member Rosa Parks to take action by challenging segregation on the Montgomery buses. When Rosa parks was arrested and fined $14 Martin......

Words: 659 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Martin Luther King's Significance in Reducing Discrimination

...What in your view was the short-term significance of Martin Luther King to the Civil Rights Movement? Martin Luther King’s (MLK) short-term significance to the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) can be attributed to his non-violence and his unique relationships with the media and the President. These relationships played a key role in MLK’s and the CRM’s success. We should also not ignore the role played by global politics of the time. The circumstances were such that the CRM may have succeeded even without the assistance of MLK. In order to assess the short-term significance of King to the CRM, we must determine, was it MLK or rather the international situation that led to the successes of the Civil Rights Movement? Word Count – 502 MLK’s significance to the CRM stemmed from his use of non-violence as a tactic to achieve social change. Non-violence served as King’s ideology and methodology, and contributed to King’s significance. Non-violence being met with naked aggression and racism was showcased by the media and condemned by the government. Although several other civil rights leaders, such as Ralph Abernathy, possessed Christian credentials, MLK coupled these credentials with his non-violence and positive relationship with the media. In January 1960 a bomb was thrown on King’s porch and an armed mob gathered that was dispersed only by King’s insistence on calm. A white police officer on the scene remarked, “If it hadn’t been for that nigger preacher, we’d all be dead”. This......

Words: 2262 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

How Far Was the Leadership of Martin Luther King Responsible for the Gains Made by the Civil Rights Movement Between the Years 1955 and 1968?

...How far was the leadership of Martin Luther King responsible for the gains made by the civil rights movement between the years 1955 and 1968? The leadership of Martin Luther King was heavily influential between 1955 and 1968 and his success was almost entirely down to his methods of peaceful protest, especially in the South. His philosophy of non-violent direct action helped him to project the movement across the whole of America with help from media companies, the movement gained a substantial amount of support out of sympathy when the American citizens saw the brutal treatment of innocent protestors, increasing the already large numbers of campaigners. Though his campaigns King showed sheer determination and dedication to achieving the ultimate goal of equality. His campaigns impacted all areas of American society whether that be social, political or economical, his protests had the power to affect all. King was ambitious in his ventures, in 1963, he set out to desegregate the most heavily segregated city in the country, Birmingham. Here he targeted black unemployment by provoking violence and not retaliating. After the demonstrations the process of desegregation began slowly, promises were made to end segregation in employment, department stores were desegregated and those jailed for their participation in the campaign were freed. As well as these progressions, Kennedy announced plans to pass a bill that was said to finally end segregation. The Birmingham campaign......

Words: 876 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Martin Luther King

... Homework due: 08/09/2014. Martin Luther King. Born in Georgia, Atlanta on January the 15th 1929, Michael king Jr was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Michael king Jr’s Grandfather, Williams was originally rooted in rural Georgia, who then moved to Atlanta in 1893. Williams took over Ebenezer Baptist church which was struggling with only 13 members, and made it into a successful congregation. Williams, who was married to Jennie Celeste parks, had one surviving child, Alberta who marred Michael king Sr in 1926 after an 8 year courtship. Michael king Sr came from a poor sharecropper family in a poor community, not having much money to his name. In 1931, following the death of Williams, Michael king Sr became pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church carrying on the tradition of his father in law. After reaching the success, he adopted the name “Martin Luther king Sr”. In time it would be expected that Michael king Jr to do the same and adopt the name “Martin Luther King Jr”. At the age of 5, Martin Luther King Jr started public school, following the event of him being baptized in 1936. At the age of 12, Michael attempted suicide by allegedly jumping out a second story window after witnessing the traumatic death of his grandmother, Jennie. After skipping ninth and eleventh grade at Booker t Washington high school, he started Morehouse College in 1944 at the tender age of 15. It was said to be that Michael was a very popular student making his......

Words: 1261 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

How Far Was Peaceful Protest Responsible for the Successes of Civil Rights Movement During the Years 1955-1964

...During the years 1955 – 1964 there were a significant amount of peaceful protests organised by groups like the SCLC, SNCC and NAACP. During this period there was a significant change in the progress of racial equality and it is clear that peaceful protest was a direct cause of the change. Earlier protests did things such as raising awareness, making smaller changes to state laws and showing that blacks had power without using violence. Later and bigger protests such as the March of Washington made bigger changes such as pushing towards the Civil Rights Bill. During the late 1950s and early 1960s the main forms of peaceful protest were the sit- ins, freedoms rides and Montgomery Bus Boycott in. The sit-ins in 1960 were important to the civil rights movement because they raised a lot of awareness when they spread to 54 cities in 9 states in just 2 months. They were also important because they showed that despite the fact the black protestors were not being violent, white racists would still react violently. The Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956 was significant because it showed the effect that black Americans can have economically and also the power they could have without using violence. The violence black people involved in the boycott received from white southern racists showed their determined racism. The bus boycott raised more northern support and inspired boycotts in other cities and caused the buses to be desegregated, however the rest of the city remained segregated.......

Words: 894 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

How Important Was the Contribution of Martin Luther King to the Civil Rights Movement of the Years 1955-68?

...How important was the contribution of Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement of the years 1955-68? Martin Luther King was born on the 15th of January 1929. His father was a minister and all throughout king’s younger year’s king aspired to be just like his dad. King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, when he was twenty-five years old, in 1954. It wasn’t till a year later in 1955 that his involvement in the civil rights movement truly came into action. He had heard of a bus boycott, taking place in Montgomery; a young lad called Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, she was arrested and fined. There was then staged a boycott, it lasted for 385 days; the situation became so tense king’s house was even bombed, and he was arrested. Because of his extreme involvement this was the start of people viewing king as this national figure for civil rights. Some people do argue however king’s involvement to the cause was not that important, and it was more the action of the people and the long overdue action from the government that made the biggest contribution. The Boycott was most successful for both king and the civil rights movement; In December 1956 the court outlawed segregation on buses. This showed how much the public made an impact on protects, and showed how much king was a key figure in its achievement. After that in 1957 King and several other important activists including Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth,...

Words: 344 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

How Effective Was Opposition to Civil Rights During the Period 1955-1968?

...How effective was opposition to civil rights during the period 1955-1968? The civil rights movement had gained a lot of opposition during the campaign, however some opposition was more effective than others. There were various sources of opposition such as; the rise in black power movement, Federal opposition, State and local government opposition and the public opinion. Firstly, Federal opposition was effective at hindering the civil rights campaign because Eisenhower and JFK had hindered the campaign significantly. Eisenhower was afraid to give african americans power as he believed they would do more harm than good because they would cause resentment among americas white population. JFK also hindered the campaign by persuading campaigns to stop using violence and use peaceful protest, Kennedy knew that this would hinder the african americans campaign as Kennedy knows they will have less power and conviction in their civil rights campaign. However federal opposition wasn't that effective because the congress was in full support of the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 196, this enabled the campaigners and the government to force desegregation laws and support voter registration. Therefore the federal opposition was effective at hindering the civil rights movement because the presidents were able to hinder the civil rights movement, while the congress managed to support it, overall the federal opposition had hindered the civil rights movement more......

Words: 739 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Was Martin Luther King Right in His Letter?

...Was Martin Luther King right in his letter? In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” King, a reverend from the South and the face of the Civil Rights Movement, writes to his “fellow clergymen,” defending his stance on nonviolent protests, as well as the actions he took in protest against racial injustices. In this letter, King calls for nonviolent action from everyone and especially from religious figures who are near the center of these issues. King claims that nonviolent action is the next step in furthering the civil rights movement. After reading the letter numerous times, I think that it is a masterfully crafted letter, a deeply powerful and captivating piece which contains a lot of emotion. I agree with King’s assertions and believe that he is right in his arguments. In his letter to the clergymen, King writes many examples of things that are wrong. Indignation is an emotion that I find surfacing within myself over and over again as I read, but nowhere is it more apparent than in King’s statement, “Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered”. This quote resonates in me as I consider that not only has a whole population of Americans been humiliated, deemed inferior, and denied basic human rights, but they have also, in many cases, been robbed of their......

Words: 778 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Martin Luther King Jr

...Sykes 1 Eddie Sykes Jr. Political Science 1510 Teacher name April 20, 2015 Sykes 2  Martin Luther King Jr. lost his life trying to better the lives of African-American people. He was one of the greatest American Civil Rights leaders of the 1960s. Second child of Martin Luther King Sr. (1899-1984), a pastor, and Alberta Williams King (1904-1974), a former schoolteacher, Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. Along with his older sister, the future Christine King Farris (born 1927), and younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King (1930-1969), he grew up in the city’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood, then home to some of the most prominent and prosperous African Americans in the country. (History.com) A gifted student, King attended segregated public schools and at the age of 15 was admitted to Morehouse College, the alma mater of both his father and maternal grandfather, where he studied medicine and law. Although he had not intended to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the ministry, he changed his mind under the mentorship of Morehouse’s president, Dr. Benjamin Mays, an influential theologian and outspoken advocate for racial equality. After graduating in 1948, King entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree, won a prestigious fellowship and was elected president of his predominantly white senior class. (History.com) Sykes 3 King then enrolled in a graduate program at......

Words: 1808 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

The Life, Work, and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

...Andrea Adams @02717441 HIST 0100 Prof. Tolbert April 21, 2017 The Life, Work, and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist from the 1950 to 1968 with a strong religious background. A strong advocator for all minorities, King did all in his power to end barriers of community, poverty, racism and militarism. The principle he focused more on, however, was racism. King defined racism as prejudice, apartheid, ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ageism, or discrimination against disabled groups and stereotypes (Haskins). Later turning his efforts to poverty, King believed that the United States should have equal rights for all men, women and children. Martin Luther King Jr. had a strong philosophy of non-violent protests, called civil disobedience, to which he gained supporters, changing the jurisdictions of racism and poverty to create the American Dream for all. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, to Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Born as Michael King Jr., King lived in Atlanta, Georgia (How Did Martin). However, in honor of minister and civil-rights activist Martin Luther Baptist, his parents gave him the name Martin. In 1931, King’s father became the lead pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, a very successful minister as his father and grandfather had been. A very intelligent man, King skipped ninth and eleventh grades, graduating from Booker T.......

Words: 2264 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Martin Luther King Jr.

...University of La Verne Point Mugu, California Martin Luther King Jr. A paper prepared for Leadership in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Management February 11, 2011 Instructor: Mr. Stadler Chapter One Introduction The leader I have chosen to analyze is Martin Luther King Jr. He is someone I find as a fascinating leader and changed the lives of million worldwide. He was known as the moral leader of the United States and was born January 15 1929 at Atlanta, Georgia. Jacqueline L. Harris coauthor of marching to freedom provides a detailed concise biography and introduction to our moral leader Martin Luther King Jr. His father was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a member of a black middle-income family, young Martin never felt the pinch of poverty. But his family could not protect him from the cruelties of racism. As Martin grew up, he kept his mother's words in mind: "You are as good as anyone." King earned degrees from Morehouse College in Atlanta and Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He then went to Boston University, where he earned a doctorate. In Boston he met Coretta Scott. They married in 1953 and settled in Montgomery, Alabama, where King had been appointed pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Not long after King arrived in Montgomery, he was asked to lead a black boycott of the city buses. The black people of Montgomery had decided that they would......

Words: 4186 - Pages: 17

Download | the team | The Vampire Diaries