Civil Rights Leaders: Martin Luther King Jr.

2277 words - 9 pages

“Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister and social activist who played a key role in the American Civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968”(“Martin Luther King Jr.”). For many years people have celebrated a day known as “Martin Luther King Day” in honor of a man who stood up for his beliefs and stood up for his race (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). Many observe the third Monday of January as a regular day, while others observe it as a day to remember a man who changed America. But how did Martin Luther King contribute to the civil rights movement and what was the result of his actions? Of the prominent civil rights leaders of his time, Martin Luther King (MLK) was the most influential.
Back then, Blacks were not allowed to vote, and neither were women, and that became a fight for equality amongst all the African American men and women. As a result of this inequitable law, courageous people, like Martin Luther King Jr., became civil rights leaders that would change the view of racism all over America. Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, and Malcolm X have all created an impact on the way racism has changed throughout time. Unlike any other civil rights leaders, these four have, until this day, been remembered for their effort to change this prejudiced society into a more peaceful and free society where everyone can have equal rights no matter their color or sex. But,which civil rights leader did the most, and which one deserves to be known above all?
In 1955, an African American woman by the name of Rosa Parks boarded a city bus and refused to move when “…a white man boarded the same bus and needed a place to sit” (“Rosa Parks Bus”). Unfortunately, for Rosa Parks, she was arrested for not following the “Jim Crow Laws” (segregation laws) and fined for refusing to give up her seat. According to the Academy of Achievement, “Her action was spontaneous and not pre-meditated…” (“Rosa Parks Bus”). Although she was arrested, she later became an inspiration to many African Americans and an example for all future civil rights leaders. Rosa Parks is well-known for the way she stood up for herself in a non-violent way and yet managed to become a great civil rights leader. According to the Academy of Achievement, “I didn’t have any special fear,” she said, “it was more of a relief to know that I wasn’t alone” (“Rosa Parks Biography”).
Rosa Parks was the founder of many different corporations like the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development which was a summer program where young people would get to chance to tour the buses, including the one Rosa Parks rode, and learn about the history of their country and civil rights movement (“Rosa Parks Bus”). Rosa Parks, along with her husband, Raymond Parks, joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to try to advance “the group of African Americans in segregated regions” (“Rosa Parks Biography”). Although not gaining much...

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