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The Black Force That Moved America: The Achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr - Essay Example

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The author of the essay concludes that the achievements of the late Martin Luther King will never be eradicated in US history. For he was a great man, to begin with, and he fanned the flames of the black movement to forward their issues to the US government. …
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The Black Force That Moved America: The Achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr
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Download file to see previous pages King himself seemed to sense the historic importance of the moment as he opened his "I Have a Dream" speech by calling the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom "the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation." The landmark protest, which drew more than 200,000 people, announced a turning point in the civil rights movement and set the stage for the movement's two most important legislative achievements, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Microsoft Encarta 2005).
It is interesting to speculate on what the course of American history might have been, if Martin Luther King, Jr. had not gone to Montgomery, Alabama in 1954. But he did go, and the America he had grown up in was forever changed. The historic bus boycott that began there in late 1955 brought him national recognition and triggered a decade of direct-action protest that permanently altered the status of black Americans. Andrew Young once said that Rosa Parks thrust greatness upon King. Rosa Parks is a leading member of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), who was famous for her refusal to give her bus seat to a white man. Certainly, she shaped the setting in which he emerged as a national figure and challenged him to translate his theory of nonviolence into practice. King had no intention of initiating a major campaign in Montgomery, but Mrs. Parks' refusal to yield her bus seat to a white man on December 1, 1955, forced the first serious test of King's willingness to undergo personal sacrifice for the sake of Negro freedom. She has never claimed much credit for what happened in Montgomery, but Rosa Parks' action was a catalyst in King's rise to prominence and the emergence of the southern civil rights movement that dominated American social history for a decade (SCLC/NH, National Conventions, 1980).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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