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

The Civil Rights movement is still identified by people across the world with Dr Martin Luther King. His day of birth is remarked with a national holiday

Extracts from this document...


How Far would you agree with Ella Bakers Statement that the movement mad Martin rather than Martin making the Movement. The Civil Rights movement is still identified by people across the world with Dr Martin Luther King. His day of birth is remarked with a national holiday in the United States and there are many historic sites dedicated to MLK across the nation. His funeral in Atlanta on 9th April 1968 was attended by political leaders from around the world and later in 1977 King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom which stated that MLK was "the conscience on his generation" who..."saw the power of love could bring down segregation". It is clear that MLK had a huge impact on how the civil rights movement was to be perceived by all people in the years to follow. 'Martin Luther's Style of Leadership' written by Peter J Ling for the BBC Website suggests that King is "...Vividly remembered...thanks to the miracle of Television". It is apparent that the boom of household televisions and the rising involvement of media and news coverage helped king to demonstrate his communicational skills through his speeches which were broadcasted across the nation. However many people argue that the media played a huge part in his prominence and focused on his achievements and successes rather than his faults. MLK's approach to achieving racial equality is admired by many. His non-violent peaceful protests gained more support from African Americans, who realised that this was the only realistic approach for them to achieve civil rights. ...read more.


Ella Barker's statement - "The movement made Martin rather than Martin making the movement", is supported by the fact that the movement was already in full stride before MLK's emergence. The NAACP had already been victorious in the board versus the board of education case in 1954. Neither was King present in the Little Rock event of 1957 where the strong stance taken by nine black students resulted in their acceptance into a high school. Except his influence to Robert Kennedy, King played little part in individually tackling the issue of desegregation in schools. Martin Luther King's first claim to fame was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. However, it is said that he never had aspirations to be a civil rights leader, and only got involved with the boycott because he was chosen to do so by E.D Nixon. It is claimed that King's only quality were his communication skills, the ability to convey his messages towards the black people. It is said though his leadership skills were just hype. Both the lunch protesters and freedom rides in the early 1960's were organised by students, and the SNCC and CORE both started to lose admiration towards King in the sixties. As leader of the SCLC, king experienced a number of disappointments. Various campaigns to increase voter registration and to desegregate Albany in the state of Georgia proved unsuccessful. A major criticism of Martin Luther King's work is his failure to have any impact in the North. ...read more.


It could be said that by "faking" his way to the top, King got an easy ride and never put any effort into making the civil rights movement. This characteristic in his personality can be supported by the ideas that he never individually participated in events he organized and often relied on others to carry these out. Ella Baker's statement is well supported by many facts and revelations about MLK since his death. However, it could be say Baker had a personal purpose for her claims. The book "Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision" by Barbra Ransby claims baker "had to play second fiddle to more powerful men", which made it difficult for her to conform to male-dominated hierarchies. . She quit the NAACP when she could no longer abide Walter White and left SCLC after becoming disenchanted with King. It could be said Baker had a personal vendetta against MLK, who was constantly receiving recognition for the hard work that many unsung civil rights heroes like Baker were putting in. The Freedom Rides of 1961 were credited as being the work of King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference organisation. However it was the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) who were behind the rides. When MLK was asked to join the freedom riders into Mississippi he declined their invitation, thus resulting in the organisation to publicly show their mistrust in a leader who, As Ling puts it, "preferred to cheer from the sidelines." ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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)

    In 1957, 9 black students were allowed to attend a previously all white school, after the school was ordered to let them in. On the children's first day they were met with crowds of people trying to stop them getting in.

  2. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King: Compared and Contrasted.

    This is drastically different from Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" or "I have been to the Mountain Top" speeches. This clearly shows both of their mentalities, Malcolm X clearly believed in violent self-defence and decisive action whereas Martin Luther King's speeches had a very Christian approach about them

  1. Do you think Martin Luther King deserves his reputation for being a great leader ...

    However, King can take credit for the success of the marches on Birmingham and Selma as the organization and manner (which influenced the Kennedy brothers) in which they were carried out were completely down to him. His speeches (most notably "I have a dream" and "Mountain top")

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

    However, John White advocates that: "Robinson and Nixon shrewdly recognized that Montgomery's blacks could be more effectively organized for mass protest"2, supporting Michael Eric Dyson's belief that "without the spur of grass-roots leaders like E. D. Nixon, the ministers... might never have acted."3 Thus, such arguments demonstrate that King not

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

    King taught love instead of hate, kindness instead of aggression. The act of non-violent resistance displayed the protester's courageous will to bring peace and dignity to the nation. King's non-violent pledge for peace is unique, because in the past heroes were often those who used violence to fight injustice.

  2. Why did a campaign for civil rights emerge in the 1950s? The civil rights ...

    some white Americans feel less at ease with the continued racial discrimination and segregation within the USA after 1945. Essentially then, it could be argued that the Social tensions of World War II transformed the U.S. racial landscape. This feeling was captured by the New York Times, who in 1946

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

    After his last speech,which were also his last words, it is known that he said "We've got some difficult days ahead, but it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop." His death was a great loss for all humans and humaness in the world. Dr.

  2. The importance of Lyndon Johnson in bringing about Civil Rights.

    president, instead making the evacuation of American troops from Vietnam his number one priority. Nixon did, however, strengthen some of the laws his predecessors had put in place. Nixon dismantled the dual-school system, which for a long time had been a symbol of racial inequality.

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