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Martin Luther King As A Role Model

2384 words - 10 pages

Martin Luther King as a Role Model Everyone has someone that they look up to. It may be a hero or a role
model. Martin Luther King serves as a role model for many African
Americans because of his contributions and fight towards civil rights.
King became very popular and touched the lives of many. According to
Robert A. Divine and other authors of America Past and Present, the
arrest of Rosa Parks sparked a massive protest movement that witnessed
the emergence of Martin Luther King, Jr., as an eloquent new spokesman
for African Americans.

King led a prominent bus boycott in honor of Mrs. Parks. The boycott
successfully ended a year later when the Supreme Court ruled the
Alabama segregated law unconstitutional. As a result, King became well
known around the world with his belief of passive resistance. He
visited Third World leaders in Africa and in Asia and paid homage to
Ghandi. He led a victorious Prayer Pilgrimage to Washington in 1957 on
the third anniversary of the Brown decision. He held many vigils and
led many protests to end segregation. King founded the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to promote others to fight
against segregation a year after the bus boycott. Then, in April 1960,
he found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). These
newly formed coalitions led to "dramatic success for the movement, but
also ushered in a period of heightened tension and social turmoil in
the 1960s.

By 1968, he was winning the hearts and minds of more and more
Americans on both sides of the color line. His efforts successfully
merged the anti-Vietnam war movement and the civil rights movement,
and the awful reality of the black situation in America could no
longer be hidden behind the "white curtain". On March 28, 1968, King
led a march through Memphis, Tennessee, which, like all his marches,
was intended to have been peaceful and non-violent. But thanks to a
gang called "The Invaders," the march disintegrated into rioting and
looting. King barely escaped the March 28 event unharmed, and swore to
return to Memphis and "conduct this demonstration properly - with no
violence." The date for the new march was set at April 4, 1968. This
time, King would not survive his fateful trip to Memphis.

Additionally, local newspapers criticized King when he announced he
was coming back to Memphis for a second round. Among other comments,
the local press criticized him for staying at a white-owned Holiday
Inn, instead of the Motel Lorraine, which was black-owned. Hoping to
avoid further antagonistic press in wake of the disastrous March 28
demonstration, King's camp switched his accommodations to a room at
the Motel Lorraine, where he died on April 4. From a security
standpoint, changing King's lodging...

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