After Being Dragged out of their homeland, brought to an unknown country, and forced to be slaves, African-Americans saw a road trip to equality through the eyes of Martin Luther King, Jr. Even after being emancipated from slaves to citizens, African-Americans were not ready to wage the battle against segregation alone. The weight which African Americans carried on their back, was lightened when they began to see what Martin Luther King, Jr. brought to the table against segregation. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the single most important African-American leader of the Civil Rights Movement and was responsible for dramatically improving the chance of equality for African-Americans. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the key individual, which helped African-Americans reach the almost unattainable grasp of equality.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born January 15, 1929 in Atlanta Georgia. His father, Martin Luther King, Sr. was pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist church in Atlanta, which was founded by Martin's maternal grandfather (Schulke 14). At an early age Martin showed his admiration for his father, spending hours listening to his sermons for the next Sunday morning worship service at Ebenezer (Ayres 49). Martin grew up attending segregated public schools, excelling in all subjects, and moved on to Morehouse College at the age of fifteen and graduated at the age of eighteen with a bachelor's degree in sociology (Ayres 56). Shortly after graduating, King became an ordained minister (Norrell 1).
King took on his first pastoral office in 1954 when he accepted the call from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, of Montgomery, Alabama. King was an excellent pastor not only because of his incredible talent for teaching, but also because of his strong public speaking ability. King won second place in the undergraduate oratorical contest while he was at Morehouse (Clayborne 144). King's speaking ability increasingly improved over time. At the time, No one knew that attribute would propel him to the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, one of the leaders of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] refused to give up her seat to a white person on a segregated city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, despite being reprimanded by the driver (Schulke 166). Montgomery, Alabama was known for its terrible treatment of blacks. The buses in particular had been a source of tension between the city and black citizens for many years (Schulke, 167). As a result of refusing to give up her seat, Rosa Parks was arrested. Rosa Parks' popularity among the black community, proved to be the spark that ignited the non-violent Civil Rights Movement (Norrell 2).
For more than a year, the African-American community in Montgomery successfully boycotted the city bus company, Montgomery City Bus Lines, which resulted in the loss of much needed revenue to support the city expenses. The Bus Boycott was the impetus for...