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

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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.

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