Let Freedom ring
The fight for civil rights took two distinct paths during the 1960s. Nonviolent action, which involved sit-ins, boycotts, marches and other peaceful forms of protests, was most prominently practiced by Martin Luther King Jr. In contrast to the peaceful strategies of MLK, Malcolm X adhered to the strict principle of violence and getting even with white Americans for the crimes they committed against African Americans in the past.
King was an expressive Baptist minister and leader of the civil-rights movement in America from the Mid-1950s until he was assassinated in 1968. He advocated non-violent means to attain civil-rights reforms and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his accomplishments.
King first stumbled upon Mohandas Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent social protest while at seminary. He later went to India in 1959. There, he met with followers of Gandhi and while discussing nonviolent action, he concluded that it was the most effective tool that African Americans could use to gain their just freedom.
As pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama, king organized and led a bus boycott due to segregation on the buses. King and ninety followers were arrested under the requirements of a law making it illegal to obstruct the operation of a business. They were found guilty, but they appealed their care. While the bus boycott was gaining momentum, King was gaining national publicity. The resulting success of the Montgomery bus boycott made King a national hero for African Americans.
Dr. King’s 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail inspired a growing national civil rights movement. In Birmingham, his goal was to expunge the system of segregation that affected African American’s every day lives (in stores, separated drinking fountains and bathrooms, job discrimination, etc.). Also, in 1963, King led a significant march on Washington D.C. where he delivered his famous...