MLK, Jr.: The American Civil Rights Movement

1262 Words6 Pages
Caroline Ehlers MLK, Jr.’s Political Development As one of the most influential figures of the American Civil Rights Movement, many people wonder when and where Dr. King acquired his values for which he is so well known. Many of his major political and ethical views can be traced back to the philosophers Dr. King studied and the professors who taught him at Morehouse College, Crozer Seminary, and Boston University. Some of his famous, key political ideas and values include his criticism of capitalism, the practice of nonviolent resistance, and the love of all humanity. One of Dr. King’s most controversial beliefs was his negative view of capitalism. Walter Chivers and Walter Rauschenbusch were two sources that influenced Dr. King’s eventual rejection of capitalism. While studying at Morehouse College, his advisor, Walter Chivers, very plainly stated to King that, “Money is not only the root of evil; it is also the root of this particular evil—racism.” Unfortunately, King experienced this first hand while working for the Southern Spring and Mattress…show more content…
For a class assignment at Morehouse College, Dr. King was introduced to Thoreau’s work “Civil Disobedience.” From this influential work, Dr. King, for the first time, learned of the theory of passive resistance. Thoreau argued that the smallest minority, even just “one honest man,” could start a moral revolution. However, Dr. King was still unsure how to implement this theory until he was a student at Boston University. There, he heard Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson’s lecture on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Afterward Dr. King said, “The message was so profound and electrifying that I left the meeting and bought a half-dozen books on Gandhi’s life and works.” He spent hours studying and reading Gandhi’s works and found that Gandhi was also inspired by Thoreau’s “Civil

More about MLK, Jr.: The American Civil Rights Movement

Open Document