• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the Role of Martin Luther King in Civil Rights Activity in the USA during the years up until 1968

Extracts from this document...


Describe the Role of Martin Luther King in Civil Rights Activity in the USA during the years up until 1968 Martin Luther King was one of the leading civil rights campaigners in America during the civil rights movement. Many historians would feel that the role of King during the years 1956 to 1968 was a significant one, and that he played an important part in leading the civil rights campaign. However, there have been disagreements over whether King contributed to a great extent to the movement, and also whether his role was significant to the campaign. In this essay, I will be describing Martin Luther King's role in civil rights during the years 1956 to 1968. King was brought up in a well-educated, middle class home, where both his father and grandfather were National Association for the advancement of coloured people (NAACP) activists in Montgomery. Originally King had not wanted to become a minister like his father and grandfather, but when he became minister he urged his congregation to register with the NAACP. ...read more.


This helped to end segregation in interstate travel in November 1961. In November 1961, the SNCC with black students protested against segregation in Albany. They received little support from NAACP and local blacks who believed SNCC members were trouble makers. Martin Luther King was invited to join them which angered some SNCC members who felt it was 'by and for local Negroes'. He had led a march and found himself arrested, but later was released when protestors and local authorities agreed that if the marches stopped, then prisoners would be released and an agreement would be made. However the authorities reneged on their agreement. King learned that it was not wise to Intervene with SCLC in an area without a strong SCLC presence. Also he believed it was more important to concentrate on one aspect of segregation as it resulted in becoming more effective. In 1963, King concentrated on segregation in Birmingham. He chose Birmingham because it was expected to create the kind of propaganda needed for the Civil Rights campaign. ...read more.


He was shot so the march was taken up again by King and at first only 20 others. Soon the march added others, including Stokely Carmichael who was a member of the SNCC. King tried to encourage chants such as 'freedom now'. Core and SNCC were becoming increasingly militant and used phrases such as 'black power.' The march made King realise how he could no longer co-operate with SNCC, while NAACP wished not to be involved with both SCLC and SNCC. King tried to help American blacks in Chicago, but he gained little success. Chicago was one of Kings major failures. Daley, the major agreed to promote integrated housing in Chicago but it was a mere 'paper victory.' He was unrealistic in thinking he could create a social and economic revolution in months. King didn't really know what to do anymore, and didn't know where to go from Chicago. Martin Luther King involved himself thoroughly in civil rights, and through his efforts, his actions gained national publicity. His tactics were sometimes criticized, and occasionally not admired, but his role was important as he inspired millions, and he was able to contribute much to the black cause and help gain black civil rights. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1941-80 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1941-80 essays

  1. How effective a leader was Martin Luther King in the Civil Rights campaign?

    only confined to the social and political problems of the south, because he was strictly non-violent and peaceful.

  2. "Why did relations between the USA and USSR change in the years 1945-49?"

    The Berlin Blockade of 1948-1949 was a major stepping stone in the road to the collision of Russia and America. Due to the causes of the blockade, it lead to an even stronger hatred between the two sides. The fact America wanted its zone of Germany along with Britain and

  1. To what extent did black Civil Rights improve in the years between 1863-1877?

    the black politicians were operating in an environment that was far from equal. Thus, one can see that although blacks made considerable progress into politics, their development was cut short by white activity. Unequal influence inside- and violence outside- government ensured that the African-American politicians were prevented from working effectively even in their limited posts.

  2. What role did Martin Luther Kings play in the Montgomery bus boycott?

    Another reason for the bad feeling toward King was jealousy from other prominent black leaders. An example of this is Roy Wilkins who was keen to emphasise the NAACP's importance, and disliked King's direct, non-violent approaches. Even King's colleagues felt that he was basking in the victory and not concentrating

  1. Why was Martin Luther King both so bitterly criticised, and so deeply mourned by ...

    Despite his need to appeal to whites, it did not lead him to capitulate to liberal anti-communism or back down from criticism of the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, his opinion made him many enemies, president Johnson did not approve of his view; black working class citizens made up the majority of

  2. What was the contribution of Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement?

    was too new in town to have made enemies; he was generally respected, and his family connections and professional made him well respected. In his first speech to the group as its president, King declared: 'We have no alternative but to protest.

  1. The USA 1941 - 80 : The Divided Union.

    Hint: A favourite question in the essay section. Know what the Great Society was and why it failed. * LBJ was an experienced domestic politician and the Great Society was his vision of a better America. * One of LBJ's first act was a $10 billion tax cut which resulted in an economic boom in the USA.

  2. Martin Luther King.

    participation from the institution of segregation in every area of American life. Like Gandhi's army, it must be nonviolent. Gandhi has the key for me to unlock the door to the American dream. Likewise, Martin Luther King encouraged the black people to protest not in bloody war, but in peace and love.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work