How Did Martin Luther King Influence The Civil Rights Movement

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Who would have thought that a Baptist minister from Alabama would become one of the most influential and respected public speakers in American history? Certainly not Martin Luther King Jr., but he did just that. Throughout his lifetime, King fought for social justice and freedom, eventually earning him the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Through Martin Luther King Jr.’s eyes, freedom is both social and economic equality for not only African Americans, but for people of all races. Segregation and the Jim Crow Laws played an important role in shaping Martin Luther King Jr.’s definition of freedom. During his lifetime, African Americans were not treated the same as white citizens. They were discriminated against in everyday life, being forced to use separate…show more content…
The March took place on August 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people, including both blacks and whites, participated in the walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial (“March on Washington”). Murphy says, “It was the largest demonstration of the American civil rights movement.” The March was intended to raise awareness and help spread the idea of freedom and equality: fair treatment of all races. Of all of the events from the March on Washington, there was one that stuck out: Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Not only was this speech the most remembered speech of the day, it was also the most influential. He says: “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred” (“I Have a Dream”). This quote is significant because he is stating that he does not want violence. Many African Americans wanted to rebel against slaveholders and use force to earn their freedom, but Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to work things out
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