Martin Luther King



 



The most important person to have made a significant change in the



rights of Blacks was Martin Luther King. He had great courage and passion



to defeat segregation and racism that existed in the United States, and it



was his influence to all the Blacks to defy white supremacy and his belief



in nonviolence that lead to the success of the Civil Rights movement.



 



Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia



where the city suffered most of the racial discrimination in the South,



and, in addition, the Ku Klux Klan had one of it\'s headquarters there. But



it was his father, Martin Luther King Sr. who played an important role in



shaping the personality of his son. M.L. Sr. helped to advocate the idea



that Blacks should vote. He was involved with the National Association for



the Advancement of Coloured People, an important Civil Rights group. These



efforts to improve the way of life for Blacks could be seen by his son.



 



In December 5, 1955 King began to be significant in the changing of



the Black man\'s way of life. The boycott of the Montgomery Bus was begun



when Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat on a bus to a white man on



December 1st. Two Patrolmen took her away to the police station where she



was booked. He and 50 other ministered held a meeting and agreed to start a



boycott on December 5th, the day of Rosa Parks\'s hearing. This boycott



would probably be successful since 70% of the riders were black. The bus



company did not take them seriously, because if there was bad weather, they



would have to take the bus. The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA)



was established to co-ordinate the boycott. They had a special agreement



with black cab companies, in which they were allowed to get a ride for a



much cheaper price than normal. Blacks had to walk to work, and so they did



not have time to do any shopping and therefore the sales decreased



dramatically. On January 30, while M.L was making a speech, his house was



bombed. Luckily his wife and baby had left the living room when the bomb



exploded, but a black mob formed and was angry about what had happened, and



Policemen were sent to the scene to control the situation, even though they



were outnumbered. King, however, because of his strong belief in



nonviolence, urged the crowd to not use their guns and to go home.



 



The news coverage increased on the Montgomery boycott as months



passed. He travelled to many places and made speeches in order to raise



money for the MIA\'s legal fees. When he returned he found that he was



charged for breaking an anti-boycott law. He and the others were found



guilty, but they appealed the sentence. When in November 13, the MIA was



fined $15,000, at the same time, the Supreme Court found the Alabama\'s



segregation laws were unconstitutional. That night the KKK looted 40 cars



in hopes of scaring the Blacks. But the black people did not hide in their



homes and turn the lights off. They stayed on their porches and waved



showing that they were not afraid of them at all. By 1957 Martin Luther



King became a national figure. Time magazine wrote a story on him, and his



ideology of nonviolence began to spread throughout the country. The boycott



gave a strong psychological push of courage that would continue until



Blacks obtained what was morally right.



 



What made Martin Luther King striking was his conviction on



non-violence. He believed that this belief could give blacks a superior



level of morality over whites. This ideology was important for his success



in later years. As a result, it helped restrain the use of violence from



whites to blacks and vice versa. This philosophy was tested during the



Montgomery bus boycott. Before the successful boycott, blacks used violence



in order to protest racism. During the boycott, however, on both sides



violence was not a measure to be taken. When someone bombed King\'s home,



the fact that violence was used against a nonviolent group made the idea of



the black man\'s cause more agreeable.



 



Whites, as a result of the boycott, realised the threat for blacks to



be equal was increasing. They used legal measures to break up the NAACP



(National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People). In time the



NAACP became very weak, and so the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership



Conference) became more significant to the black man\'s cause. It was lead



by King, Rustin, Levison, and Baker, and was a Negro church which



represented