MLK Dr. Martin Luther King, Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Why and how Black Power, Nation of Islam, and other approaches to racial and social justice were overshadowed by King's version can be traced to the fact that King's approach had a more universal appeal.

King was able to become the figurehead of the Civil Rights movement because he was willing to engage in dialogue with white leaders, which was often a difficult and daunting task given the fact that many white leaders systematically and publicly denounced King. Some white leaders criticized King's actions as being too extreme, which is ironic considering the fact that many black leaders criticized King's actions for not being extreme enough ("March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom"1). King understood that it was necessary, at least at first, to work within the prevailing systems, frameworks, and institutions -- even if those institutions and frameworks were part of the dominant culture. King was not necessarily in search of a revolution. For King, it was important for African-Americans to participate in the political process by voting, which is why the Selma demonstrations took place, and why those demonstrations ultimately resulted in presidential action on the part of Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed the executive order for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Martin Luther King emerges as the most significant Civil Rights leader, and perhaps one of the 20th century's most significant political leaders because he was able to inspire peaceful protest. The SNCC, sit-ins, and other forms of creative resistance such as Rosa Parks illustrated the ways King became an emblem of a form of protest that did not require weapons or separatist rhetoric. America is a diverse and complex society, and King was able to navigate its murky waters.

Works Cited

"March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." Martin Luther King, Jr. And the Global Freedom Struggle. Retrieved online: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_march_on_washington_for_jobs_and_freedom/

"SNCC." Retrieved online: http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

"March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." Martin Luther King, Jr. And the Global Freedom Struggle. Retrieved online: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_march_on_washington_for_jobs_and_freedom/

"SNCC." Retrieved online: http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/

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