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American Civil Rights Leaders: Martin Luther King And Malcolm X

2136 words - 9 pages

American Civil Rights LeadersThere are many leaders who promoted equality for African- Americans. Two most notable leaders of the Civil Rights Movement include Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a political, legal, and social struggle by black Americans to gain full citizenship rights and to achieve racial equality. The civil rights movement was first and foremost a challenge to segregation, the system of laws and customs separating blacks and whites that whites used to control blacks after slavery was abolished in the 1860s. In contrast, China lacked civil rights leaders.Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968) was one of the principal leaders of the American civil rights movement and a prominent advocate of non-violent protest. He was the most important person in the civil rights movement as he played major roles in the struggle for racial justice and equality. King's challenges to segregation and racial discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s helped convince many white Americans to support the cause of civil rights in the United States.Martin Luther King was a renowned figure in the Civil Rights movement. He led the African-American (Black) cause at the height of the movement through passive resistance, which he learnt from his idol, Mohandas Gandhi. This movement instigated the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, protest marches and the refusal to abide by the Jim Crow Laws.The Montgomery Bus Boycott officially started on December 1, 1955. That was the day when the blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted, instead of being relegated to the back when a white boarded. . Martin Luther King and ninety others were arrested and indicted under the provisions of a law making it illegal to conspire to obstruct the operation of a business. King and several others were found guilty, but appealed their case. As the bus boycott dragged on, King was gaining a national reputation. The ultimate success of the Montgomery bus boycott made King a national hero.Historian D. T. Phillips in Martin Luther King, Jr., on Leadership: Inspiration and Wisdom for Challenging Times implies the importance of the passive resistance movement and leadership of Martin Luther King through his diction. 'The Montgomery Bus Boycott was the ideal approach to racial desegregation through passive resistance. This boycott started the Civil Rights movement and highlighted the ability of Martin Luther King as a leader in the movement.' The use of the terms such as 'ideal', 'highlighted', and 'ability' create a sense of achievement with Martin Luther King being the successful figure.Nevertheless, historians are also critical of Matin Luther King's association with known communists and such is the example of historian R. Klegg. In an article written in the National Review, R. Clegg describes Martin Luther King's associations with communists with...

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