Pilgrimage To Nonviolence Essay

In June 1956, a federal court voted 2-1 to strike down the Montgomery bus segregation ordinance, and later that year the U. Things seemed to go well until December 23rd when a shotgun blasted through Dr. Five days later, snipers shot at three desegregated buses. On January 27, 1957, twelve sticks of dynamite with a burned-out fuse were found on the porch of Dr. Eight months later, he was in Harlem’s Blumstein’s department store, promoting his book, the story of the Montgomery bus boycott, when a deranged black woman pulled out a seven-inch letter opener and plunged it into his chest. Sit-ins became the specialty of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). King, who by this time had resigned from Dexter and become co-pastor with Daddy King at Ebenezer Baptist Church, addressed a rally of sit-in demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina.Then two sheriffs arrested him and sought his extradition to Alabama where he faced charges of perjury and felony for his Alabama state tax returns. King’s prospects bleak, but analysis of his financial records showed he earned only 8 more than reported.

The laws had been passed during the early 20 were necessary to get racial prejudice translated into pervasive discrimination, because the forces of the marketplace operated in the opposite direction. Down South, explained Harvard University historian Stephan Thernstrom and Manhattan Institute Fellow Abigail Thernstrom in their book (1997): “The races were strictly separated by law on streetcars, buses, and railroads; in schools; in waiting rooms, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, theaters, cemeteries, parks, courtrooms, public toilets, drinking fountains, and every other public space. King was surprisingly moderate in his demands: “We are not asking for an end to segregation.

The mania for separation went to such lengths that Oklahoma required separate telephone booths for the two races…Macon County, Georgia, took the prize for absurdity by seriously debating a proposal that the county maintain two separate sets of public roads, one for each race, and rejecting the idea only because of the prohibitive cost.”A Montgomery ordinance required that blacks give up their seats when whites needed seats. That’s a matter for the legislature and the courts….

There he embraced a religious version of individualism known as “personalism.” Biographer David J.

Garrow reported this meant “the human personality, i.e.

Inspired by American individualist Henry David Thoreau and Indian nonviolent crusader Mohandas Gandhi, Dr.

provided crucial moral leadership for eradicating government-enforced racial segregation in the United States.

He delivered his talk, “The Negro and the Constitution,” without text or notes.

Martin followed his father by attending Morehouse College, the favored institution of higher education for middle class blacks.

Young Martin’s maternal grandmother “Mama” Williams lived with the family, helping to raise him and his two siblings.

At 12, he entered an oratorical contest sponsored by the black Elks.


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