paper 3 - MLK/Early SNCC/RFs History 152 For many people...

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MLK/Early SNCC/RFs History 152 For many people, change is something that is hard to accept. Drastic societal changes were being demanded during the years of the African-American and feminist civil rights movements. Many people were unwilling to adapt their ideas and lifestyles to the changing society, which made it difficult for these two groups to reach their goals. Feminist and African- American leaders had to decide on appropriate tactics to use to initiate reform. Separate leaders and organizations used different approaches from one another, but each used the approach they thought would create change in the most efficient way. Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate for non-violent actions to promote change. His actions were supported by the view that all human beings should love one another, and that violence is unnecessary to solve a problem. He supported the idea that resolving an issue through violence would only cause more hostility and hatred between peoples. He said, “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all… Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible… violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers” (Howard-Pitney 73). King’s ideology was developed specifically by his positive family, church, and community influences. They led him to be optimistic in his view that equality was an attainable goal. Although he was completely non-violent, he was very persistent and refused to back down to his white oppressors. He was not passive with his acts; he pressured his oppressors continuously, which is what made him so successful. He pressed for laws to be
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passed that enforced rights for all people, because he believed that equality was dependent on these laws. King’s famous non-violent protest strategy was influenced by Rosa Parks’ act of non- violent protest. In 1955 she sparked the Montgomery bus boycott by refusing to give up her seat to a white man. King endorsed this boycott and it escalated him to national attention. King, along with other African American leaders, founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957. The main goal of the SCLC was to “mount and coordinate civil rights activities using mass non-violent actions and civil disobedience across the South” (Howard-Pitney 4). King was the head of the SCLC and he traveled around the country to raise money for the organization. Not only did King head the SCLC, but he became the most prominent civil rights advocate throughout the entire movement.
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