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

Why was Martin Luther King both so bitterly criticised, and so deeply mourned by black citizens of the USA?

Extracts from this document...


Why was Martin Luther King both so bitterly criticised, and so deeply mourned by black citizens of the USA? Martin Luther king was bitterly criticised by many people but conversely he was also deeply mourned when he was assassinated on April 4th 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, king was only 39 years old. His death was followed by rioting in 125 cities and resulted in forty-six people being killed. There are many reasons for this contrast in opinions of Martin Luther King, some believed he was arrogant; when members of the SNCC asked King to join them on the ride into Mississippi, he pompously declined saying 'I think I should choose the time and place of my Golgotha'. On the other hand, Martin Luther King was hailed as the most conspicuous- and eloquent - among all civil rights leaders and he stood up for what he believed in and became a drum for justice . King was an influential leader to millions of black citizens in the USA however the extent to which his leadership skills benefited the movement had been a controversial idea debated during his lifetime, and this has since his death. Martin Luther king was bitterly criticized by other groups such as the NAACP and CORE who said he was a 'glory seeker'. A NAACP leader Medgar Evers was assassinated, Martin Luther King wanted to stage a massive joint protest with all the civil rights groups. ...read more.


Martin Luther King was criticized for plagiarism and womanizing. King had lots of marital affairs and one-night stands, which was used by many of his critics as propaganda against him. He was branded a hypocrite for preaching from the pulpit the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage. On one occasion at the SCLC's headquarters, there was a party being held and a reporter notes that there were lots of alcohol and many women were making passes at King. The head officer of the FBI J. Edgar. Hoover despised King, due to the fact he was racist. Hoover gathered much evidence to support these allegations of king's womanizing he tapped his home phone line he had 24-hour surveillance and all his rooms were bugged. King was deeply saddened by this as it caused much distress in the family household as he was away 25 days a month. Neglect of family was an issue which was raised on many occasions apart from the affairs he had as mentioned above; Martin Luther King was a reverend a was supposedly very Christian however he spent little time with his family. When the civil rights act was passed in 1964 he went to Washington for the signing, despite both of his sons being in hospital not once did he phone to check if they were okay and their operations were successful. This was not the only case where he put the civil rights movement before his own flesh and blood. ...read more.


Speeches such as the 'I Have A Dream' speech at the civil rights march on Washington of August 1963 galvanized people of all races, and created an unprecedented bipartisan coalition for anti-racist legislation. King undoubtedly spoke to, and for, African Americans, and their mounting challenge to white oppression sprang from hearing his non- violent call to arms. When he died the non-violent movement seemed unable to continue without him, and this deepened the impression that he was its essential leader. King had a remarkable ability to get people who would otherwise be constantly feuding to work together. He was consistently reluctant to sever or sour relations with any one who might help the cause. This was particularly important because a by-product of racism was a pronounced tendency to factionalism inside the black community. King became the vital centre- a point of balance and unity. In conclusion, despite being bitterly criticised whilst at the forefront of the civil rights movement, after his death the extent to which he had contributed to the movement became more apparent as the old saying goes' you don't miss it until its gone'. Kings contribution to the organization of the SCLC could be seen in the collapse of the organization after his death. In addition some people believed before and after his death the way he dealt with his personal life and his lack of organization failed him miserably. While other have always thought of him as inspirational role model who deserves to have a national holiday named after him. ...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. What was the contribution of Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement?

    and Lyndon B. Johnson(1963-69). Eisenhower was responsible for passing a law, which made segregation in schools illegal. His government also passed the civil rights act of 1957, which tried to ensure blacks the right to vote, and again in 1960 when many of the southern states did not enforce the previous act of 1957.

  2. Gandhi and Martin Luther King

    there was a law stating that that Indians weren't allowed to make there own salt. This was so they were forced to depend on the government supply of salt. So, on 12 March 1930, Gandhi and eighty disciples all marched to the sea.

  1. Civil Rights in the USA 1945-1975

    They were going to be going from Selma to Montgomery, where they would go and talk to Governor Wallace himself, but he refused this, so Luther wanted to go and talk to Lyndon when he was there, King found out that they had gone along with the march.

  2. Describe the Role of Martin Luther King in Civil Rights Activity in the USA ...

    The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) disliked the SCLC, and relations between the two groups were as bad a NAACP/SCLC relations. However, in 1961, when The Freedom Rides movement started, which was initiated by CORE, it was used by King to create some unity between the three groups CORE, SCLC, and SNCC, and help them work together.

  1. Film analysis- Anna And The King

    values, stereotypes and expectations that can be made to seem as authentic as or even more authentic than reality'" (cited in Karriker, 2002, P.xviii) What are the implicit messages of the film Anna And The King in relation to social, cultural and personal life issues?

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

    In December 1956 the Supreme courts declared that Alabama's segregation laws were unconstitutional and the buses were desegregated. Unlike Malcolm X and his declaration to win at al costs, Martin Luther King used peaceful protest and the white man's courts to achieve his goal and to set himself up as

  1. Why was the use of Non-Violence Protest effective during King Jr.’s Campaign for improved ...

    He wanted to get black school children to march. They would signify the entire communities plight for civil rights, and yet they would have no responsibilities. Of course, any violence used against them would make the white authorities look worse than ever. The children marched, and were arrested as if they were adults and taken to Birmingham jail.

  2. How did Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X influence the Black people's oppression ...

    Malcolm was a devoted follower with a new name "X." he felt that the name "Little" was a slave name and belittled him and chose "X" to signify his lost tribal name. Leaders like King and Malcolm don't arise every day.

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