How Did Martin Luther King’s Vision Change the World

How Did Martin Luther King’s Vision Change the World? Martin Luther King Jr’s vision changed the world in a major way. In fact, anyone who’s been through elementary school in America has likely heard the name Martin Luther King. As we progress into high school and beyond, we’re taught about his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and we gain a greater understanding of his impact on civil rights in America as a whole. Martin Luther King’s Vision Martin Luther King had a vision of a society in which race was not an issue in how people were treated or in how they were allowed to live their lives. It’s a sad fact of today’s society that King’s vision is not a reality in America, or anywhere else in the world; but it is possible to say that his vision affected us. While nothing is perfect or complete in the battle for civil rights, the efforts of King and those like him have, in fact, changed the country and the world, for the better, in noticeable ways. His vision has made the world a more equal place, if not an equal one, and it has helped to ensure that minorities have a voice. Martin Luther King and Civil Rights Martin Luther King had a major impact on civil rights. King played a part in many well-known civil rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1955, he became heavily involved in the Montgomery, Alabama boycott of the city buses, which was spurred by the bus company’s insistence that African Americans only ride in the back seats. King’s support drew much attention to the cause and rallied many supporters even outside of the Montgomery area, which put pressure on bus companies all over the South to examine their own rules, and eventually, to change them. King’s prominence in the civil rights movement gained the respect of many political leaders, and gave him the potential power to enact major change. Vision of Non-Violent Protest The bus boycott was just one example of many situations where, under King’s influence, the civil rights movement gained attention and respect. A key part of King’s vision, aside from a quest for racial equality, was the idea of non-violence; he refused to use violent actions in any of his protests, and taught his followers to do the same. Based on the principles of Gandhi, this factor of King’s beliefs and behavior was a major influence on society at the time. Police forces didn’t hesitate to use violence against demonstrators and protesters, but in the face of their quiet civil resistance, the overblown physical techniques of force and brutality lost their power. Martin Luther King was greatly responsible for the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act for African Americans, both in the mid 1960s. Both of these acts literally changed American law so that African Americans could not be treated separately from whites. His victories in these two areas had a major impact on the United States and the world. Martin Luther King did not make overt efforts to fight international civil rights inequalities; however, his U.S. civil rights victories and speeches were inspiration for those who were involved in international racial injustice. By 1964 the United Nations’ membership had doubled from its 1945 levels. Almost 75% of these new members were from developing countries who were committed to combating racial injustice based on the struggles of Martin Luther King in the U.S. and the racial persecution in South Africa. King’s Death King was assassinated in 1968. With his death, the country lost not only a great leader, but a prominent person who had carried the power to change society for the better. The loss of King was a loss for people of all races. What Did Martin Luther King Do to Progress the Civil Rights Movement? Martin Luther King, Jr. did many things to bring greater equality to America and to ensure civil rights for all people regardless of race. The major things that Martin Luther King did were to: ? Bring publicity to major civil rights activities and efforts ? Emphasize and encourage the importance of non-violent protest and resistance. ? Provide leadership to the African-American civil rights movement These two things came to shape the civil rights movement, in large part because of King’s contributions and achievements. King’s Contributions and Accomplishments Martin Luther King, Jr. was a well-known civil rights leader and activist who had a great deal of influence on American society in the 1950s and 1960s. His strong belief in non-violent protest helped set the tone of the movement. Boycotts, protests, and marches were eventually effective, and much legislation was passed against racial discrimination. Assassinated in 1968, King’s brief life was filled with many great accomplishments, in which he worked to promote the equal treatment of all races; his non-violent approach to protesting, his legions of followers, and his true belief in the ability of mankind to live in peace went a long way toward advancement of civil rights during that tumultuous time in history. King’s accomplishments are numerous. Some of his major achievements included: ? Being an advocate for nonviolent protest in the Memphis sanitation worker strike ? Providing leadership in the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 ? His famous “I Have a Dream” speech ? Being instrumental in establishing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, which was a civil rights organization that supported the philosophy of non-violence This is just a brief overview of the career of a great man and of his impact on the civil rights movement and the world. Memphis Sanitation Worker Strike In 1968 1,300 black sanitation workers in Memphis were protesting their terrible working conditions, discrimination, and low pay. It was obvious they were discriminated against when they were sent home without pay while white workers stayed on the job. They started a strike on February 12, 1968. Martin Luther King came to Memphis to speak and support the second march of the sanitation workers. The strike lasted for 64 days and grew into one of the major civil rights events. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the sanitation workers demanded an end to discrimination, higher wages, and union recognition. This attracted the national news media as well as others who joined the cause, like community leaders and members of the clergy. The strike finally ended on April 12, 1968, and the city of Memphis agreed to the workers’ demands, even though more strikes had to be threatened to make them honor the agreement. Montgomery Bus Boycott In Montgomery, Alabama, King led a boycott against city buses that refused to let blacks sit in the front seats of the bus. The protest gained followers rapidly, and it led to a citywide boycott of the bus system until the rules were changed; ultimately, after King and his followers were sent to jail, the boycott did succeed, and the unfair, racist law allowing the segregation aboard the buses was changed. This was a straight-out success for the civil rights movement of the time, and gained national attention. “I Have a Dream” In 1963, King and other leaders of the civil rights movement organized a huge march for equal rights in Washington, DC. With a massive crowd of over 200,000 followers, the march was protesting racial discrimination in employment, racial separatism in schools, and they demanded minimum wage for all workers. It was the largest gathering in Washington, DC’s history, and the site of King’s most famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” As a result of the march and the speech, the citizens of the nation began to put growing pressure on the presidential administration of John F. Kennedy, encouraging the president to push for civil rights laws to pass through Congress and become recognized on a national level. King’s Use of Non-Violent Social Change Because of his commitment to peace, non-violence and equality for all, King’s protests on behalf of civil rights were able to make genuine headway in American society and allowed Martin Luther King to contribute a great deal to the success of the civil rights movement. Even as his oppressors exercised force and brutality, King’s insistence on avoiding violence, which he also taught his followers to practice, was a major factor in the respect and acknowledgment given to the civil rights movement during a time of unrest and unease in the country. His genuine desire for the country to come together was ultimately recognized as a great contribution to America; his untimely death was a loss to everyone and started an era of great potential for the nation. African-American Civil Rights Movement This movement lasted from around 1955 to 1968. Its goals were to abolish racial discrimination in many areas including public transportation, employment, voting, and education. Non-violent protests and civil disobedience during this time caused many crisis situations where the government had to take action. These showed the inequities and injustice that was happening to Blacks. The protests were done with sit-ins, marches, and boycotts. Notable legislation during this time included the: ? Civil Rights Act of 1964 – This banned discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on “race, color, religion, or national origin”. ? Voting Rights Act of 1965 – This act restored and protected the right to vote. ? Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965 – This allows immigration from groups other than those from the traditional European countries. ? Fair Housing Act of 1968 – This banned housing discrimination for sales or rentals. The civil rights movement was concerned with the basics of dignity, respect, freedom, and equality