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Civil Rights Movement Essay

1563 words - 6 pages

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.The Civil Rights movement started in the 1960’s and was most influenced by Martin Luther king Jr. and Malcolm X. Their purpose was to create equality among all races. “Requiem for Nonviolence” by Eldridge Cleaver is a non-fiction book that talks about a spark of change in the civil rights movement. The 1960’s was a decade full of political and social unrest. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an influential leader who wanted political and social changes to better the country as a whole. The inspiration that cleaver gathered from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X is described in “Requiem for Nonviolence.”
The book “Requiem for Violence” highlights how King’s death inspired inequality in America. The assassin that killed Dr. King created a significant change in the world. The theme in “Requiem for Nonviolence is how big Martin Luther’s King’s death was. “Requiem for Violence” explains the big changes that evolved around his death. His death caused the inequality around the world to take a dramatic comeback that was never expected. However, he had his own purpose for his writing his book.
Eldridge Cleaver had his own purpose for writing his book. Cleaver’s purpose for writing “Requiem for Nonviolence” was to talk about how the death of Martin Luther King was a surprise. In a sentence from his book cleaver states, “The murder of Dr. Martin Luther King came as a surprise–and surprisingly it also came as a shock. Many people, particularly those in the black community who long ago abandoned nonviolence and opted to implement the slogan of Malcolm X–"black liberation by any means necessary"–have been expecting to hear of Dr. King's death for a long time. Many even became tired of waiting. But that Dr. King would have to die was a certainty. For here was a man who refused to abandon the philosophy and the principle of nonviolence in face of a hostile and racist nation which has made it indisputably clear that it has no intention and no desire to grant a redress of the grievances of the black colonial subjects who are held in bondage” (Cleaver). Malcolm X was a big influence on cleavers change in life and, as it is quoted here, “While incarcerated in Folsom prison in northern California, Cleaver underwent a profound transformation. Influenced by the writings of black activist Malcolm X, Cleaver became a follower of the Nation of Islam. After Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam, Cleaver also broke with the organization and remained a follower of Malcolm X's philosophy of black pride and tireless activism” (Ryan). Cleaver’s life was also dramatically changed when he joined the black panthers, as it is quoted here, “Early in 1967, the Party attracted the first noted personality to its ranks when Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X's widow, arrived in San Francisco for an appearance at Black House, a cultural center. Soon after this event, a man by the name of Eldridge Cleaver joined the Black Panther Party for...

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