Martin Luther King Essay

812 WordsNov 24, 20144 Pages
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say in reality” Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the twentieth century’s best-known advocates for nonviolent social change. His contributions to the civil rights movement in America during the 1960’s paved the way for the rights that African Americans have in today’s society. Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He was educated in segregated schools and colleges in the south, but later studied in integrated universities in the north. He joined the NAACP and was elected to its executive council. King was influenced by Gandhi in India. He wanted to bring attention to the suffering of blacks at the hands of the southern authorities. King’s rhetoric and courage gained him support. The movement he led forced the Federal government to enact the Civil Rights bill and enforce it in the south. From the 1890s to the 1960s, states passed over 400 laws that legalised segregation and discrimination based on race. These were the ‘Jim Crow’ laws. They divided schools, cinemas, parks, trains etc into ‘whites only’ and ‘coloureds only’ areas In some places, blacks were forbidden to work in the same room as whites. This limited the jobs they could get.. The southern states passed 80% of the Jim Crow laws. By 1949, only 15 states, all in the North, did not discriminate in some way against racial minorities. Every day, black people suffered small humiliations because of the Jim Crow laws. The ‘separate but equal’ rule meant that black people could order food in a restaurant, but had to collect it at the back door and eat it outside. In cinemas they could only sit on the balcony. On buses, they had to sit at the back. They were not allowed to use many public facilities, like toilets, libraries etc.White people used intimidation and terrorism to control black people, Most African-Americans

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