MLK Presentation Essay

Submitted By Jasmine-A
Words: 911
Pages: 4

Martin Luther King first gained media attention when he organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and then soon recognized as a forefront figure of the Civil Rights Movement. He went onto win the Nobel Peace Prize, be arrested, host marches with thousands of people.
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Jim Crow law stated that if you were African American, and the white section of the bus was full, then the people in the front of the black section would have to stand at the back, to make room for a new white row. On the 1st of December 1955, Rosa Parks was riding the bus home when a white passenger boarded and asked her to stand up, the other 3 Black Americans complied, but Parks resisted and was reported to police, then arrested and fined $10.
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As a member of the The Woman’s Political Council, the WPC organized a one-day boycott on December 5th to protest racial discrimination on Montgomery Buses. Local Black leaders and ministers, including Dr. King, held a meeting on the 2nd of December and decided to publicize the boycott. *Refer to flyer on screen bro.* The boycott proved to be successful, as 75 percent of bus riders, 90 percent of Montgomery’s black citizens stayed off the buses. That afternoon, the city’s ministers and leaders met to discuss the possibility of extending the boycott into a long-term campaign. During this meeting the MIA was formed, and King was elected president at Holt Street Baptist Church. They voted to continue the boycott. King spoke to several thousand people at the meeting: ‘‘I want it to be known that we’re going to work with grim and bold determination to gain justice on the buses in this city. And we are not wrong.… If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong’’.
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King’s home was set alight in a scare tactic to halt the boycott. He was also arrested with 80 other boycott leaders, and fined $500 under a 1921 law prohibiting conspiracies that interfered with lawful business, again gaining more media attention. Despite this, the boycott continued.
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On 5 June 1956, the federal district court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional, and in November 1956 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed its decision and delegitimised laws requiring segregated seating on public buses. On the 20th of December 1956, after 382 days of boycott, King called for the end of the boycott and the next morning, he boarded an integrated bus with other Civil Rights leaders. King said: ‘‘We came to see that, in the long run, it is more honourable to walk in dignity than ride in humiliation. So … we decided to substitute tired feet for tired souls, and walk the streets of Montgomery’’. King’s role in the bus boycott garnered international attention, and the MIA’s nonviolent tactics became the model for challenging segregation in the South.
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The Montgomery Bus Boycott would eventually be the first of many Civil Rights Campaigns that Martin Luther King would lead. He went on to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, for social confrontation, nonviolent protest and civil rights reform. He would lead the SCLC until his death.
King would come to represent the SCLC as one of six foremost speakers of Civil Rights Organizations known as the ‘Big Six’, and hold marches