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

Do you think Martin Luther King deserves his reputation for being a great leader of the Civil Rights movement? What were his strengths and weakness? Overall, what is your verdict?

Extracts from this document...


Do you think Martin Luther King deserves his reputation for being a great leader of the Civil Rights movement? What were his strengths and weakness? Overall, what is your verdict? Dr. Martin Luther King's actions during the Civil Rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's demonstrated that, in the eyes of many, he was one of the greatest leaders of all time. His tactics of peaceful protest won him much praise and when he was killed in 1968, the non-violent protests faded out and were unable to continue without him, deepening the impression that he was an essential leader. However, his perverse private life and some of his actions has led his leadership qualities to be questioned. So, does King deserve the acclamation he receives from the majority of people for being a great leader, or was he just an ineffective pacifist? Martin Luther King certainly has many attributes that can support the claim that he was a great leader. He has won the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom before being assassinated in 1968. ...read more.


Privately, King's own supporters knew that non-violence was not an outlook shared by everyone and fellow civil rights leaders such as Malcolm X condemned King claiming that his methods where unrealistic. Non-violence was unsuccessful in Albany, 61' and 62', was ineffective in Chicago and caused both injury and death to innocent blacks throughout all movements. Some argued that for a black man to be submissive to white brutality only increased white self-supremacy and that violent protests gained much more media attention. King wanted to able to appeal the "decent" white to increase sympathy for blacks in states. To do this he insisted that the right thing to do was to follow Jesus' teachings and to love your enemy. Thanks to television the protests where accessible to most Americans, many who were shocked at the violent treatment of the peaceful blacks creating the desired sympathy. Many whites joined the SNCC and CORE to protest alongside blacks that King considered a great achievement. One must also predict the result if blacks had practised violent protests. ...read more.


His non-violent protest was unique in history and inspired some support to his name. More importantly, it swung the opinion of the neutral in favour of blacks. No one achieved as much as King during the Civil Rights Movement and his orchestrated campaigns strengthened national political strategy. Although some issues in his private life do cloud his image, it has to said that his actions during the Civil Rights Movement overshadow them. Claims that King was a coward for not leading his own Marches quite frankly are ludicrous. Could you name one leader in the twentieth century that actually led and fought in his own wars/battles/movements? Martin Luther King totally deserves credit that he truly is a great leader. His strategy led to a few casualties but the images of blacks being persecuted for doing nothing won sympathy from the public which led to the Civil Rights Act of 64'. Certainly, using children and preventing woman from taking part in the movement certainly was not a great move. However, can you think of any other great leader who did not make mistakes? Martin Luther King is a great leader, period. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chris Buley February essay History AS ...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. Peer reviewed

    Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping ...

    4 star(s)

    Black experiences during the Second World War also had a huge contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. These experiences boosted the civil rights movement, and really got it going. Whilst stationed in England and France, black soldiers were amazed by the freedom they experienced.

  2. Political Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X - a comparison.

    His supreme belief was not anymore seperation of the races and building a new society. He know fought for world brotherhood and human justice. Malcolm established the Organization of African-American Unity. He encouraged many African-Americans to vote and take part in organisations that made them more active in their community.

  1. "The movement made Martin rather than Martin making the movement." How far was King's ...

    that he did not ignite black action, his contribution was essential, citing "King's inspirational direction of the Montgomery bus boycott, and the events which followed from it"2, as pivotal. While it seems "victory had been the result of collective thought and collective action"7, the boycott was a reflection of King's

  2. The Civil Rights Movement Project

    After a pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm X reject his former `black power` beliefs and `advocated brotherhood`. He blamed the western culture for racism, and urged African Americans to join sympathetic whites and bring an end to discrimination and racism. On the 21 February 1965, Malcolm X was hot dead at a party meeting in Harlem.

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

    He was too big to fall into the lure of violent protest. His successes included the Montgomery bus boycott, Little rock and the case of James Meredith, of which I will write now. The Montgomery Bus Boycott- On 1st December, 1955, a black woman named Rosa Parks had refused to

  2. Will consider the teachings of equality and human rights in the Christian and Muslim ...

    'Everyone is equal like a tooth of a comb'. On the Hajj (pilgrimage) all Muslims perform the same duties and dress the same, reinforcing equality in the Ummah. A Muslim has a duty to protect human rights given by Allah. They must stand against tyranny (an oppressive regime, with a dictator who tries to put their own rules into practice).

  1. Explain why Martin Luther King was considered an Uncle Tom

    Malcolm X advocated the idea of self-defence and therefore saw King?s idea of inter-dependence as being as obsequious as Uncle Tom. Lastly, Martin Luther King was considered an Uncle Tom because he had similar methods to that of previous authority figures who were also labelled as Uncle Tom?s.

  2. How much impact did Martin Luther King have in changing civil rights for black ...

    The world watched, the activists being attacked harshly when they were fighting for the right to vote. Selma made people at home feel uncomfortable with the state and local authorities? treatment to innocent people. Along with the Civil Rights Bill, the Voting Rights Act was one of the most significance pieces of civil rights legislation.

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