How Did Martin Luther King Influence The Civil Rights Movement

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The African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, like the Great Awakening and Progressive Era before it, sought to revolutionize the very makeup of American society. African-American prejudice and discrimination, caused by the continuation of Jim Crow Laws, de facto segregation, and de jure segregation, sparked nationwide discontent as numerous individuals, with equally numerous ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, rose to demand true and undisputed equality. With African-American suppression and oppression heavily rooted in the hearts of many citizens, depression quickly turned into hatred. The Nation danced on knifes edge facing, as they faced, what publicist Gunner Myrdal would coin, The American Dilemma (Lapsansky-Werner, Levy, Roberts & Taylor, 2008). From within the thorn bush of violence and anger that sought to catalyst equality, a rose of peace and love made its way to the surface of the Movement. Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and undisputedly the most prolific and constructive leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., brought pure equality to a tainted nation, championing the era, if not the century. …show more content…
Beyond religion, philosophy heavily impacted and guided King’s attitudes and beliefs towards civil rights and reform. King read American author Henry David Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience, stating that he was:

Fascinated by the idea of refusing to cooperate with an evil system, I was so deeply moved that I reread the work several times. This was my first intellectual contact with the theory of nonviolent resistance. (Dr Martin Luther King