Martin Luther King was a great speaker and a character. He had many successes in the civil rights campaign such as marches in Washington and Selma started change for the millions of black people that lived as second class citizens; however his campaign was not without a few failures e.g. Chicago and Albany. Although many would argue that as time proceeded Kings Campaign’s begun to get less successful. However I believe even though Kings later campaign weren’t as successful as his earlier ones they were still significant in the search for equality for black people amongst their white counterparts.
One of Kings great successes was the Montgomery bus boycott, during the years of 1955-1956. During that time buses in the south remained segregated. This mean the front rows of the buses were for the white people and the back of the buses were for the black people. If a white person needed a seat black people would have to give theirs up for them. O9n December 1st 1955 a woman names Rosa parks decides not to give up her seat for a white person. For this she was arrested and fined $14. This arrest led in the NAACP to file a suit on the segregation laws. Following parks arrest the leader of the NAACP E.D Nixon called a meeting with MIA (Montgomery improvement association) which was under the leadership of King. King and Nixon swift action meant that the boycott began on the day after Parks was fined. During the time of the boycott which was a year, over 85% of Montgomery’s black population boycotted the busses. In order to sustain these boycotts the MIA organised events such as car pooling. The boycott hit the car companies hard. The majority of the companies’ passengers were black and consequently lost 65% of their income. The authorities soon realised the outcome of these boycotts, so they soon arrested King and other protestors. The arrest backfired and drew media attention Kings Campaigns. However the boycott itself didn’t end segregation on buses. Rather the NAACP‘s court case Browder vs. Gayle did and the outcome of that was segregation on buses was made illegal on 20th December 1956.
This campaign was highly successful because it showed the great amount of significance of black people were to American companies and the economic power of the black Americans and highlighted the importance of black people. It also showed kings leadership skills which brought him to national attention.
Another success was achieving voting legislation in Selma 1965. This campaign was a part of an ongoing campaign to register black people the vote. The SCLC focused on Selma, Alabama because only 1% of black adults were registered to vote. King believed the local sheriff was going to respond with violence. SCLC and SNCC activists demonstrated to raise awareness. The local police responded with violence. The police were responsible for the murder of Lee Jackson and 26 year old man who protecting his mother from police beatings. This campaign had a significance for voting rights as they highlighted problems faced by black people in asserting their rights to vote and therefore led to the Voting rights act of 1966. Once again media images opposition to civil rights increased support to the movement.
Mover civil rights legislation was a success in campaigns of kings such as Greensborough, Birmingham and the march on Washington. The Birmingham campaign is a good example of success. In 1963, Birmingham became a focus for the civil rights movement. Birmingham, as a city, had made its mark on the civil rights movement for a number of years. Whether it was through the activities of Bull Connor or the bombed church which killed four school girls, many Americans would have known about Birmingham by 1963. It was a KKK stronghold and King described it as America’s worst city for racism. To continue the campaign in Birmingham, King used children. Many