Martin Luther Kings and the Fights for Civil Rights Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1441 Words
Date:  2022-08-18

Martin Luther King was born in January, 15th 1929 in Atlanta and in a middle-class family. His initial name was Michael King Junior before his father changed it to Martin Luther King Junior after he learned of a theologian with the same name early in History. Martin Luther King is best known for his famous speeches and being a radical. In fact, he was more radical than anyone around him. Since he came from a Christian family, he was also a Baptist Minister and an activist who was guided by only Christin beliefs. Martin was one of the best leaders who championed for civil rights through a number of nonviolent tactics, and he held that position until his death. The two main tactics that Martin used during the fight for civil disobedience are: Non-violent strikes and civil disobedience.

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With regard to his academic, Martin attained his first degree at the age of 19 years and before his death, he had a Ph.D. from Boston University although there were controversies about his education. The approaches taken by Martin in the fight for civil rights aided in achieving and bringing about some of the most important legislation that Americans have ever had. Besides legislation, the struggle by King also brought about significant Supreme Court rulings in the United States and some that can be referred to even today. He also has an unsuccessful fight against segregation in 1957 when he was still the leaders of the Southern Christians Leadership Conference.

The Montgomery and the March on Washington are some of the most significant events during Martin Luther King's campaigns for civil rights during his lifetime. The Montgomery march was a result of an event that took place in a bus. In December 1953, Rosa Parks declined to stand and let a white man sit in a bus as there were no seats available resulting in his arrest. At the time, Rosa Parks was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The movement was formed in 1090, and its main aim was to endeavor for the civil rights of the people of color in the United States as cases of segregations were on the rise.

Within two months after the arrest of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Junior together with his followers organized a bus boycott that lasted for 381 days. During this period, the public transport industry experienced a lot of economic strain. The result of the Montgomery march was the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The case was brought forward because of the various segregation practices in schools. Linda Brown, the appellant, used to walk through dangerous roads to go to school while there was a school nearby that's he could go to. The school was however for the whites, and this was a result of the decision in the case of Plessy v Ferguson in which it was ruled that segregation in schools was constitutional as long as there was a similarity in facilities. The decision in Brown v Education of Topeka did away with segregation not only in school but public facilities on whatever grounds.

The 1964 Civil rights Act and the Voting Act were also the results of the Montgomery march. The aim case of the Civil Rights Act was similar to the decision that arose from the fact of Brown v. Education of Topeka only that it covered a broad perspective. The Civil Right Act, Championed by Luther King and proposed by The former president John Kennedy, was enacted to do away with discrimination, not only based on color but also religion and in all institutions, private or public. The Voting Rights Act, on the other hand, was enacted as a result of the discrimination that arose from voting in which people of color were discriminated upon when they wanted to vote.

Apart from the Montgomery march, Luther King also led the March on Washington whose main aim was to advocate for the jobs and the freedom of African Americans. The march on Washington was a peaceful rally that was attended by more than 20, 000 people. During the rally, Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech 'I have a dream'.

Martin Luther King is also known for his best strategies which he used in fighting for civil rights in the United States. He, in fact, won a Nobel Peace in October 14th, 1964 for his strategies in combating inequality through non-violence resistance and this was not the end of his struggles for the advancement for ether rights of the African Americans. He was also incarcerated for a significant number of years, the major one being in Birmingham from which he wrote letters to the public concerning his desire to continue fighting for civil rights.

Apart from the marches organized by Luther King, he also expressed his sentiments against the Vietnam War when delivering one of his speeches at Riverside Church in Manhattan. The Speech and opinions on the Vietnam War were politically charged. He asserted that the involvement of the government in the war a comparison of the American government tactics to those that were used by the Nazis. He also argued that the United States was wrong from the beginning of their adventure in Vietnam and that it was not humanly to test their weapons on Vietnam peasants. He compared the acts to those of the Germans testing their new medicines and new tortures in the concentration camps in Europe. The comments against the government's actions in Vietnam did not turn out well as it was one of the reasons for the demise of Luther King.

The death of Martin Luther King came at a time when he was planning a national occupation of Washington DC and was to be called the poor people's campaign. He was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee on a balcony of a hotel he was staying in.

Apart from Martin Luther King's successes, there are also a number of allegations relating to his darker side. The critics of Luther King argue that he was not actually the same person in public gatherings as he was in private places. His private life was therefore allegedly different from his public life. First, Martin Luther King did not have a lot of women speakers in his committees. One of the first pressures for the inclusion of women in committee came from Anna Arnold who was also the only woman on National Planning Committee who fought for the representations not only in committee but also when delivering speeches, of the Negro women fighters.

It is also alleged that Martin Luther King's dissertation was plagiarized. Martin Luther King might have been impressive when it came to academics. He attained his doctoral degree at an early age, but it was only discovered later that the doctoral dissertation had been plagiarized and had copied paragraphs. A review of the dissertation by the Boston University committee in 1991 revealed that the dissertation was in indeed plagiarized.

There were also infidelity questions regarding Martin Luther King. According to a report from the FBI from which he was tapped from his hotel room, it was discovered that Luther King usually had multiple relationships in the hotel room. This was although he was married to Coretta Scott. There is no true proof that the allegations might have been true or whether it was just acts of the FBI to make people hate Martin Luther King.

Lastly, Martin Luther King also allegedly had a violent at end. Before his death, he stayed in a hotel where he fought with a woman that he was with in the hotel. It is also alleged that before he was assassinated, he was seen struggling with the woman he was staying with. It is said that Martin hit the woman then before walking to the balcony, the two struggled and he left the room and went to the balcony.


Martin Luther King was a revolutionary leader and one of the most courageous men that America has ever had. He is known for championing for the civil rights of the Americans and making some milestones. Only a few of the events of King's dark side can be confirmed, and the rest only remain allegations. One of the reasons that resulted in the assassination of Martin Luther King his involvement in the fights against Americans involved in the Vietnam War.


Harding, Vincent. Martin Luther King, the inconvenient hero. Orbis Books, 2008.

Jackson, Thomas F. From civil rights to human rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the struggle for economic justice. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.

King Jr, Martin Luther. Stride toward freedom: The Montgomery story. Vol. 1. Beacon Press, 2010.

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