The Civil Rights Movement: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Freedom Freedom is the basis of American identity. America was founded the idea that everyone is entitled to a number of inalienable rights. However, it seemed that “everyone” only referred to the white men of America. While freedom for all is the premise on which America was founded, it is an ideal that was not historically applied to minority groups such as African Americans. Ripped from their homes and stripped of their identities, African were sold and brought to America as slaves. Unlike the white man who chose to emigrate to “The New World” seeking better opportunity, African Americans were shoved into a world of subordination and submission. They were believed to be inferior. They had no rights on American soil. According to the Supreme…show more content…
However, the African American community was still not satisfied with the treatment they have received. Faced with discrimination and segregation, African Americans still experienced hatred for the color of their skin. New laws had been set that had separated public facilities between whites and blacks. Unable to accept these prejudices, the Civil Rights Movement began in order to initiate change. The most influential Civil Rights leader was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who led the black community in peaceful protest. After being arrested at a sit-in in Birmingham, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an open letter to the white clergymen of Birmingham, defending his strategy of civil disobedience. He wrote, “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights…when you have vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim… when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society… when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading ‘white’ and ‘colored’…when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of ‘nobodiness’ – then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait” (King). MLK’s letter further described other injustices experienced by African Americans, and chastised the morality of their oppressors. Dr. King’s efforts were a significant factor in the achievement of civil rights for the black community and other minority
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