What makes someone a hero? When I think of a hero I immediately think of someone who is strong, intelligent, handsome, and daring. Upon closer examination, many different qualities than these become apparent. Courage, honesty, the ability to try, and selflessness are just a few of the overlooked qualities of a hero. The definition of heroism changes with the context and time. Heroes of the past are not necessarily heroes of present time and vice versa. My definition of a hero is a public figure that self sacrifices for others and is someone who has the courage to overcome difficult situations by possessing the true morals that set them apart from others. A hero fights for something they believe in and will risk their own well being for the cause. According to www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/hero a hero is "a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities; A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life" When considering my criteria and the dictionary definition, I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. is and always will be considered a hero in today's society because he sacrificed himself for his beliefs and had the courage to overcome difficult situations he had to face throughout his life.
Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most prominent black leaders our nation has ever known. Advocating non-violence and passive resistance he took major steps towards creating a nation where all men and women are created equal. In 1953, King developed a great deal of concern for the welfare of all people, branching into a concern for the lack of Civil Rights for African Americans. In 1955, King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted 385 days and later ended the racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses. King organized and led marches for blacks' right to vote, desegregation in schools, restaurants, movie theaters, and stores, labor rights, and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into the law of the United States with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. No matter how many times King was put into jail or beaten, he still remained passive and non violent and won more and more followers who agreed and identified with his ideas. This is heroic because he sacrificed his own life for that of others. Not only did he take the beatings for his beliefs, but he never acted out violently in return. He also fought for what he believed and sacrificed his own life for his beliefs while remaining true to his own morals.
Soon he not only had African American followers, but also white followers as well. His original followers admired him for his noble qualities and brave deeds, but his determination and selflessness attracted new members. King had emerged as a new kind of American hero for not only the African American population, but the population of America as a...