How much have you learned about different civil rights leaders throughout the United States? history? You may have learned bits and pieces during your early education, but you probably haven?t spent much time since then really looking into any civil rights education. Whether it?s through watching a documentary, listening to audio, or pursuing other educational opportunities, there are so many ways to learn about different civil rights leaders from the past. In particular, when it comes to Martin Luther King Jr., there is plenty of material to learn about him as a civil rights leader.
Interested in learning more about Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on the country and the civil rights movement? Keep reading to find out all about Martin Luther King Jr.?s role as a civil rights leader in America.
The Civil Rights Era in the United States
During the 1960s, the Civil Rights Era took places throughout the country. During this time, there was much turmoil, especially in southern states. For example, there were different things going on like discrimination and racism that led to marches and sit-ins in the country. In 1960s, the sit-in movement was started by four young men. They didn?t want to give up their seats in Greensboro, North Carolina at a diner that had segregated seating.
This sit-in was the first of many that would occur during the 1960s Civil Rights Era. Around 55 cities across 13 different states, there were different sit-ins all occurring by the end of March 1960.
The 88th Congress took action by deciding to pass an act in 1940 banning discrimination. The Civil Rights Act was intended to put an end to any discrimination in schools or public facilities. However, Martin Luther King Jr.?s time as a civil rights leader continued on past that date.
Martin Luther King Jr.?s Impact as a Civil Rights Leader
Throughout Martin Luther King Jr.?s time as a leader, he was very vocal about his beliefs. Many know him for his ?I Have a Dream? speech. In reality, he began giving speeches long before that one. By the time he made that address, he had already been giving national addresses for six years. His first one was to a crowd ranging from 15,000 to 30,000 people.
All-in-all, he made a large effort to be present at gatherings in order to give speeches and be present with those also advocating for civil rights. By the end of his life, he had made an effort to speak at more than 2,500 public events.
His efforts didn?t stop at public speeches and public events, though. Martin Luther King Jr. was so committed to the cause that he dedicated much of his time to sitting in jail. In fact, he went to jail a total of 29 times for defending his beliefs. While in jail, he wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail. This letter was more than 7,000 words long.
He also spent time marching across the country to advocate for civil rights. For example, he led a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. It was more than a 54 mile march that took more than 2,000 people five days to complete in 1965.
His commitment to being a civil rights leader was clearly evident in his actions from participating in these sit-ins, to spending time in jail, to writing letters and giving speeches, to leading marches of people to stand up for what they believed in. He didn’t stop advocating for his beliefs and the civil rights for all in the United States despite anything that happened to him or anything he had to endure. Even from a jail cell, he kept writing this thoughts and speaking up for his beliefs.
Although Martin Luther King Jr. is no longer with us today, his legacy as a civil rights leader still remains evident in our country. He is even commemorated every year.
What do you remember learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Era? Let us know your thoughts about this era and Martin Luther King Jr. in the comments.