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Bios On Civil Rights Leaders Essay, Research Paper

Bios of Important Civil-Rights Activists

Martin Luther King Jr.

He was born on January 15, 1929 at a family home in Atlanta Georgia. King’s grandfather was a Baptist preacher. His father was pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. King earned his own Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozier Theological Seminary in 1951, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Boston University in 1955. While at seminary King became acquainted with Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent social protest. On a trip to India in 1959 King met with followers of Gandhi. During these discussions he became more convinced than ever that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom. Because of his teachings he learned from Gandhi he was awarded the 1964 Peace Prize. As a pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama, King lead a Black bus boycott. He and ninety others were arrested and indicted under the provisions of a law making it illegal to conspire to obstruct the operation of a business. King and several others were found guilty, but appealed their case. As the bus boycott dragged on, King was gaining a national reputation. His “Letter from Birmingham Jail” inspired the growing civil rights movement. When the bus company finally gave up, dropping its policy of segregated seating, King became a national hero. In 1963 he led a massive march on Washington DC where he delivered his now famous, “I Have A Dream” Speech. King’s tactics of active nonviolence (sit-ins, protest marches,etc.) had put civil-rights squarely on the national agenda. He was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. King was only 39 at the time of his death.

Rosa Parks

Rosa L. Parks was born in 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama and is still alive today. She was arrested in 1955 because she didn’t give her seat up to a white man on a Montgomery bus. She was fined $10 for not giving up her seat. She and others within 48 hours launched the Montgomery Bus boycot and the Civil Rights act of 1964, the local black people did not ride the bus. They would use alternative methods such as walking or car pools. Their actions were successful; the bus companys went out of business. Because of her actions and involvment in the bus boycott she became known as the “mother of the civil rights movment”.

“For a long time I resented being treated a certain way because of my race. We had always been taught that America was the land of the free and the home of the brave and that we were all equals.”

by rosa parks

Malcolm X

Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska to Louise (Norton) and Earl Little. He was actually a con man. He had committed robery but while in prison he converted to Islam. He had gotten into trouble by Nation of Islam for saying things about Kennedy’s assination. Later in March 1964 he started his new organization called, Muslim Mosque, Inc. and changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. He did not belive in the ways of Martin Luther King Jr. He used physical and violent ways to get his point across unlike MLK’s non-violent ways. He was later assinated in February 1965 in New York.

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