What Was King's Role In The Civil Rights Movement

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By 1963 many African Americans in the South were still denied jobs and their civil rights; the pace of desegregation was too slow (Stephenson, C., Mbansini, T., Frank, F., Pillay, F. & Hlongwane, J. 2013: 181). Philip Randolph, an associate of Martin Luther King, came up with the idea to conduct a march to the Lincoln Memorial on 28 August 1963. The march was called ‘The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom’ and it was organised by Randolph along with King and a few other civil rights leaders. The March received diverse support from religious leaders to entertainers to labour organisations and more; there were many Americans from various ethnic backgrounds. King explained his vision for a nation free from racial prejudice in his famous…show more content…
Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act 1964, a law that Kennedy proposed before he died, that would ban segregation and try put an end to discrimination in the South. This protected civil rights for all as it outlawed segregation in public places, such as in schools, and it prohibited racial discrimination in any federal assisted undertaking. To ensure desegregation, organisations such as the Community Relations Service and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were formed. Support for Johnson increased from African Americans. (He managed to claim Presidency in 1963-1964 with an overwhelming victory against Senator Barry Goldwater, whose support came mainly from white people in the South.) Despite civil rights activists’ efforts and President Johnson’s enforcement of the Civil Rights Act 1964, white supremacists such as the Ku Klux Klan continued to intimidate black people in the South. African American people were determined to register to vote in the South and continued to face many complications, such as Literacy tests and the continued threat of white supremacist violence against…show more content…
Johnson had organised for the marchers to be protected by state troopers and forbade police from stopping protestors. The marchers covered several miles per day and camped in fields and the backyards of supporters. The number of marchers increased daily and even Alabama Assistant Attorney General John Doar and Ramsy Clark, and former Assistant Attorney General Burke Marshall, among were other representatives that joined the march. Thousands of black and white supporters met the demonstrators at the state capitol building in Montgomery where Martin Luther King and other leaders addressed the crowds. The event received full media coverage, as it was televised.

The non-violent civil rights movement was a success legislatively; on 6 August 1965 President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. The law banned literacy tests and lifted all unreasonable restrictions; every citizen in the South American now had an equal opportunity to vote and the amount of African American registered voters increase significantly in Alabama (see Appendix
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