Martin Luther King Jr.’s Contributions to the Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King Jr. led Civil Rights campaigns from their slow start in the ’50s and stopped when he drew his last breath during the movement’s bloodiest decade. He advocated for racial equality and desegregation and expressed anti-war rhetoric towards the end.

Keep reading this Kennedys and King-inspired article to review King’s most notable contributions to the movement.

Setting Up the SCLC

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. King founded it with a few other activists and became its first chairman, a position he held until his assassination in 1968.

As an organization, the SCLC:

The “I Have a Dream” Speech

You’ve probably heard the phrase “I have a dream,” but did you know King was the one who said it during his critical speech during the March on Washington? Now, you do. It’s arguably the point where the Civil Rights Movement kicked into high gear.

Addressing a gathering of more than 250,000 demonstrators, King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that fateful August 28th and, upon Mahalia Jackson’s insistence, spoke about his dream for an America that saw everyone, regardless of their differences, as equal.

Demonstrators Holding Up Placards Demanding an End to Racial Discrimination During a Civil Rights March

Leading the Successful Birmingham Campaign

Birmingham was one of the target cities on the SCLC’s plan for desegregation. It was one of the country’s most intensely racist and divided cities at the time, with mountains of legalese depriving black people of basic human rights, let alone equal job opportunities.

King kicked off and led the Birmingham Campaign in 1963, getting adults, students, and children to volunteer. He had the city overturn its discriminatory conventions after law enforcement used water jets and attack dogs on some underage volunteers, eliciting widespread criticism and putting the city administration under increased scrutiny.

A Kennedys and King Perspective on the Life and Death of Martin Luther King Jr.

Learn more about the life and assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on Kennedys and King, a platform dedicated to unearthing the truth behind the political murders in the sixties, particularly King, Malcolm X, and the Kennedy brothers. Read the archives for unbiased analysis of the existing literature and media, and contribute your own.

Visit the website for comments or general queries.

 

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