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The Drum Major Instinct

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The Drum Major Instinct.

Martin Luther King, Jr. remains arguably the most recognizable African American figure in world history. First thrust into the international spotlight courtesy of his leadership of a boycott of the public bus system in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was pastor of a local church, King became the lightning rod for the civil rights movement that emerged in the wake of the successful boycott. During the 1960s he gave innumerable speeches characterized by oratorical genius, led a succession of mass marches in the heart of segregated America and helped to reconstruct American race relations before his assassination in 1968. Ever since Montgomery he has attracted the attention of biographers and historians keen to understand what made him such a magnetic and inspirational leader and what made the story of the civil rights movement so compelling.
Martin Luther King is most remembered for a speech given during one of the finest hours of the civil rights movement -- a sermon that set the moral tone for the movement. But while the Aug. 28, 1963, sermon "I Have A Dream," delivered during the March on Washington, framed much of Martin Luther King Jr’s notions of a free America, it was not the speech that defined his legacy.
One of the world's best known advocates of non-violent social change strategies, Martin Luther King Jr., synthesized ideals drawn from many different cultural traditions. Recent studies of him emphasize the extent to which his ideals were rooted in African-American religious traditions which were then shaped by his education. The image of a social activist and leader was the result of extensive formal education, strong personal values and licit ethics. This excellence in leadership can be traced to his character which is shaped by his moral values and personality. We look at Martin Luther King and these traits to reveal the…...

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