Martin Luther King Jr – Civil rights movements

Martin Luther King Jr was born on January 15 1929 in Atlanta Georgia. He is best known for the civil rights through non-violence and civil disobedience.

 His leadership to the Civil rights movements was ending the legal segregation of the African – Americans in the south and other parts of United States of America.  The Civil rights movement is to secure full political social and economic rights for the African Americans from 1946 to 1968.

Civil rights activism started during the civil war when President Abraham Lincoln had issued the emancipation proclamation. The 13th amendment to the United States of Americas Constitution outlawed slavery and went into effect in 1865. The 14th and 15th amendments during the reconstruction had established a legal foundation for the political equality of the African Americans.

Despite the abolition of slavery on legal the southern blacks would continue to live in conditions of poverty and inequality. The white racists denied political rights and freedom.

The 20th century civil rights movement emerged as a response to the unfulfilled promises of emancipation.


The earliest approaches were centered in the court spearheaded by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP).This strategy was against the legal foundation of Jim Crow segregation in the south. The slogans like non-violent, direct action and creative tension, where being adapted.

 In May 1954, the Supreme court presided over by Chief justice Earl Warren, former governor of California, gave a historic decision of the segregation issue in the public schools. ENFORCEMENT OF DE-SEGREGATION:

In 1955, the Supreme Court issued a desegregation Baker, which ordered the local school boards to make a prompt and reasonable start i.e. towards integration

A) Right of admission of Negro students to graduate and professional schools.

B) Right of Negro passengers to travel both interstate and intrastate not being segregated by race.

C) The abolition of discrimination in public housing.

While the Supreme Court decision was a major victory for civil rights, with super message in the south pleasure, massive resistance to desegregation of southern congressmen issued the southern manifesto, denouncing the codes, decision and pledging to resist its enforcement.

The civil rights activist had launched when Rosa Parks (NAACP) Activist refused to vacate her seat on the bus for a white person. Martin Luther King Jr emerged as a leader of the boycott, which was the first mass direct action of the contemporary civil rights movement and provided a template across the country.

The Religious groups, such as the southern Christian Leadership conference (SCLC) student organization like student Nonviolent Coordinating committee (SNCC), labour unions, such as American Federation of labor took part in the massive process protest to raise awareness and accelerate the momentum for the passage of federal civil rights legislation. Many Negro leaders followed Martin Luther King Jr and Negro leader who believed in the Gandhian methods of nonviolence to achieve civil rights.


 In August 1963 in order to arouse the American people and to highlight the need for civil rights legislation gigantic march was organized by the Negroes.

There were more than 2 lakh Negroes who had gathered at Lincoln memorial in order to hear Martin Luther King Jr described his dream that, “his children might one day live in a nation where they would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

All these led to implementation of the civil rights. The most important provision was their attempt to speed up the process of voter registration in those states where few Negroes had ever been permitted to register. This was followed by the voting Rights Act of 1965.


It was evident that civil Rights Act of 1964 could be effectively implemented only if the people of United States of America decided to carry out its provisions good faith.

The Negroes choose the community at Selma in Dalton country Alabama to test this issue. They served to arouse Americans to brutal ways in which the rights,

1) Right to assemble

2) Right to petition

3) Right to register

Where being denied to the white citizens as well as to the Negroes by the local and state officials. When the president noticed the shocking spectacle of man’s inhumanity to address the Congress on March 15 1965.

He submitted legislation which the department of justice believed would give the federal government powers to ensure nondiscriminatory procedures in all elections in federal, state and municipal. The bill was necessary, president insisted to enforce the 15th amendment to the constitution, wait 95 years before had conferred on the Negros right to vote. The campaign to extend civil rights after 1964.


The American Civil rights movement was against racial segregation in the south and achieved the cruiser equal rights legislation.

 Martin Luther King, Jr. was also instrumental in organizing peaceful protest for social justice movements. After receiving a Nobel Prize in 1964 Martin Luther king Jr announced a  Poor People’s Campaign to end poverty. He was shot to death on 4 April, 1968 by James Earl Ray.