4 October 2013
Modern Day Hero
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” Martin Luther King Jr., an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement. Born on January 15, 1929, he is best known for his advancement in human rights and equality among African American citizens. A hero is an individual who stands up for what they believe in that is for the better good of their country. Thus, Martin Luther King Jr. is a hero because he stood up for the rights of African American citizens. Through many of his movements and marches, King accomplished many of the rights he was trying to gain for African American citizens. To reward Martin Luther King Jr.’s wonderful achievements, he is the youngest man to receive a Nobel Prize, only at the age of 35. Moreover, much like a hero in Greek mythology, King underwent many obstacles begin thrown at him; threats, attempted murder, and racial slurs. However, he did not give up on beliefs because of this. He continued to work for equal rights among all United States citizens until he obtained more rights among African American citizens. Therefore, Martin Luther King Jr. is one of United States’ greatest historical heroes.
To begin with, Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader of many monumental civil rights movements. In March of 1955, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in response to the Jim Crow laws. The Jim Crow laws legalized racial segregation, leaving African Americans inferior to Caucasian men and women. Soon after, Rosa Parks was arrested because she also refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. In reaction to these chain of events, King took action and led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted 382 days (“Martin Luther King...””). After the campaign, King was arrested. Fortunately, in the case of a United States District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle, racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses was put to an end (“Notable Achievements of...”). Moreover, King, along with other civil rights activists, founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The SCLC was a group created to “harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform” (“Notable Achievements of...”). Through the SCLC, King led marches for blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labor rights, and other basic civil right. Thankfully, most of these right were enacted into the United States’ law by the Civil Rights act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (“Notable Achievements of...”). Without King to lead the marches that led to these acts, African American citizens would most likely not have many of the rights they have today. Therefore, Martin Luther King Jr. is a well known part of American History and a definite modern hero.
Furthermore, Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech expressed his pure and righteous goal of equal rights. When King gave his speech, it was evident that he was speaking to his fellow American; however, King’s appeal to the better nature of men resonated far wider than the United States. King “inadvertently set off worldwide movement for racial emancipation” (“How Martin Luther King...”). After King’s speech, many people in the minorities of their society began standing up for themselves. Worldwide, students began revolting in response to his speech, demanding equality between the African American students and the Caucasian students. At first, the protests only received negative responses by the authorities. Fortunately, more and more people began revolting and soon, those that were once the protesters, began taking seats in the government, allowing for change to start taking place. Shortly after