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Social and Personal Responsibility of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement

Introduction

The U.S. underwent the development of the Civil Rights Movement that occurred between the 1950s and 60s. It aimed to bring racial equality. Although African Americans have been contesting for their rights and liberties ever since the era of slavery, significant accomplishments in the civil rights struggle were made during the movement. Many renowned and important individuals in history took part in the boycott, with one being the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Main body

Throughout this period, Martin Luther expressed social and personal responsibility. These two elements are interconnected, as social responsibility often stems from the former. One cannot care for others if they do not know how to care for themselves. Furthermore, when individuals learn to be responsible for themselves, they will only know how to be a good steward of others. Martin Luther King embraced personal responsibility based on the fact that he always advocated for people to embrace this trait. For instance, during his sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, he criticized the act of blaming others for their real and perceived sufferings (Nobel Prize, 2020). Through this, King refused to let anger and bitterness over disadvantages or difficulties determine his life’s path. This trait is reflected in how he used the message of change through peaceful means to drive the Civil Rights Movement, hence, granting it moral strength.

On the other hand, when it comes to social responsibility, he led a series of political events that objectified to end racial segregation in the U.S., while emphasizing the necessity of non-violent protests. By doing so, he integrated sound leadership into the African-American civil rights movement. As a result, much legislation against racial discrimination was passed. Martin Luther King, Jr. achieved this by showcasing social responsibility in several ways. For instance, he steered the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 (US History, 2020). This protest was against city buses that refrained African-Americans from sitting in the front seats. In addition, King was among the leaders of the “Big Six” civil rights organizations that arranged for a rally on Washington for freedom and employment. This is regarded to be among the most significant political marches for human rights to ever occur in America’s history. It was also then that he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech that advocated for an end to racism. Third, he backed up a non-violent protest in the Memphis Sanitation Worker Strike in 1968, and African-Americans’ right to vote, among other fundamental civil rights (US History, 2020). Most of these civil liberties were passed into law via the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Nobel Prize, 2020). Lastly, King was involved in co-founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957 (Nobel Prize, 2020). This civil rights organization was established to harness the moral authority and conglomerate the power of African-American churches to steer peaceful protests.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a true embodiment of personal and social responsibility in the civil rights movement. His social responsibility, which was employing the philosophy of non-violence to fight for civil rights for all, was founded on his responsibility, which was the act of not letting the anger and bitterness towards the Whites steer his path. Ultimately, the seamless integration of these two elements led him to stand out among other leaders, and become the symbol of the Civil Rights Movement.

References

Nobel Prize. 2020. “Martin Luther King Jr. Biographical.” Nobel Prize. Web.

US History. 2020. “54f. Martin Luther King Jr.” US History.org. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 28). Social and Personal Responsibility of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/social-and-personal-responsibility-of-martin-luther-king-jr-in-the-civil-rights-movement/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 28). Social and Personal Responsibility of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement. https://studycorgi.com/social-and-personal-responsibility-of-martin-luther-king-jr-in-the-civil-rights-movement/

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StudyCorgi. "Social and Personal Responsibility of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement." March 28, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-and-personal-responsibility-of-martin-luther-king-jr-in-the-civil-rights-movement/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Social and Personal Responsibility of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement." March 28, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-and-personal-responsibility-of-martin-luther-king-jr-in-the-civil-rights-movement/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Social and Personal Responsibility of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement'. 28 March.

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