How important was the contribution of Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement of the years 1955-68?
The Civil Rights Movement was a movement to give African-American citizens equality, socially, politically and economically. Martin Luther King undoubtedly played a huge role during the 1950’s and 60s for the civil rights movement because he led many of the peaceful protests, boycotts and made inspirational speeches such as ‘I Had a Dream’ which brought millions of people together. His main philosophy for improving the status of black people was non violent protests. He is frequently referred to as a human rights icon today. Of course King wasn’t the only contribution, there were other black activists such as Malcolm X, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People and the US Government who all contributed and helped to bring equality to how it is today.
In 1955, Martin Luther King founded the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) in order to coordinate a bus boycott in Montgomery until the local’s buses abolished segregation. He provided leadership when the NAACP weren’t there. King advocated civil disobedience and direct action, insisting that protest should always be peaceful. It lasted a year and the bus companies suffered badly from it. They lost 65 per cent of their revenue. King was arrested and fined five hundred dollars, the arrest backfired however because it brought media attention. The boycott led to the Browder v. Gayle case led by the NAACP ruling segregation of buses illegal. This event brought Martin Luther King to national attention and highlighted the power of uniting direct action with the NAACP. Rosa Parks triggered the boycott but it would have not been possible without King’s leadership and encouragement. The actual Court Ruling would not have been possible without the NAACP therefore this was a joint effort from numerous people not just Martin Luther King.
The Albany Movement (1961-2) led to little...