Martin Luther King
On January 15 1929, Martin Luther king was born in Atlanta. Both his father and grandfather were Baptist preachers and had both been involved in the civil rights movement. In 1948 he studied to become a Baptist minister. He was very influenced by the writings of Gandhi and his non-violent civil disturbance campaign and he believed that the same methods could be used in the campaign for civil rights for blacks. He marries Coretta Scott and became a Pastor in the Dexter Avenue Baptist church in Montgomery.
In December 1955 the Montgomery Bus boycott began. It stated due to Rosa Parks being arrest for not giving up her seat on a bus to a white man.
It was thought that new leadership was needed for the movement and Martin Luther King came to the fore. A city wide boycott of public transport was proposed and the black community supported it. The boycott lasted 381days and by the time it ended the Supreme Court had ruled that segregation on buses was unconstitutional.
In 1957, King joined with Ralf Abernathy and Bayard Rustia to form The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C)
They were committed to using non violent methods in the struggle for civil rights. The importance of the S.C.L.C was that the black churches (a powerful organisation in the south) were now actively involved in the civil rights movement. After the Montgomery Bus boycott King wrote “Stride towards Freedom” which was an account of the Boycott and Kings views on non-violent action.
The book had a considerable influence on black students leading to the tactic “student sit in”
King travelled thought the county making speeches and inspiring people to become involved in the Civil Rights movement.
King also encouraged economic boycotts. By selective buying they could reward companies that were sympathetic to the Civil Rights Movement.
King also stressed the importance of the ballet. He believed that if organised properly they could influence the result of a...