Martin Luther King believed that
segregating and discriminating people because of the colour of their skin is
wrong, he campaigned and organised peaceful protests in order for his ” four
children to one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color
of their skin but by the content of their character”1.
The King Philosophy was Martin Luther King’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance
it contained Triple Evils, Six Principles of Nonviolence, Six Steps of
Nonviolent Social Change and The Beloved Community. The Triple Evils of
Poverty, Racism and militarism which are all forms of violence that exist in an
endless cycle. King believed that “it is
arrogant assertion that one race is the centre of value and object of devotion,
before which other races must kneel in submission”2,
this demonstrates how King felt that the belief of racism is ignorant as he believed
that there is no superior race, as everyone is seen equal by the lord.
protests and marches were examples of non-violent methods that King used to end racism and segregation in America;
he worked hard to promote equality with all races as he believed that mankind
could live in peace with one another. In order for King’s plan, to end racial
discrimination to succeed, he worked tirelessly providing support for Black
African Americans. An example of this is the Memphis Sanitation Worker Strike,
where in 1968 1,300 African American workers were protesting against their
dreadful working conditions and their low pay. King went to Memphis and led a non-violent
protest to show his support of the sanitation workers. However the peaceful
protest became violent, as participants began breaking shop windows and
stealing items which resulted in the death of Larry Payne, a sixteen year old
African American killed by police officers. This shows that even though King was
an advocate of non-violent protests, violence did occur at his rallies,
protests and marches. But after 64 days the city of Memphis agreed to the
workers’ demands and this strike was known as one of the major civil rights
events. Furthermore King planned to end racism in America with the use of his motivational
speeches which were known to inspire people. Martin Luther King said ” If you
can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl,
but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward”3.
This statement is saying to people that they shouldn’t ever give up but instead
keep pushing forward for what they wish to achieve therefore reinstating my
point that King often used motivational words to inspire people to join the
fight to end racial discrimination in America. Also in 1963, King organized a
march for equal rights in Washington and there were over 200,000 people there
who protested against racial discrimination in employment and schools. This was
where Martin Luther King performed his most famous ‘I have a dream’ speech.
Because of the effort and hard work King put into the March of Washington for
Jobs and Freedom, it increased pressure onto John F Kennedy’s administration into
encouraging the president to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
has accomplished many things for African Americans in terms of obtaining
equality for them, as he assisted in getting the Civil Rights Act passed. He
led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted 385 days and in that time he was
arrested and his house was bombed. Fortunately the US Supreme Court ruling that
segregation on public buses were unconstitutional. King also became the first
president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), where he aimed
to advance the cause of civil rights in America but in a non-violent manner. Furthermore
on October 14th 1964, King became the youngest recipient of the
Nobel Peace Prize at age 35 for leading a non-violent resistance to racial
prejudice in the US.
Martin Luther King’s speech ( I had a dream)
Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.;
Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.
Martin Luther King addresses Spelman College on 10th April 1960