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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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