Martin Luther King as Activist and Outsider

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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In the modern history, it is fair to say that Martin Luther King g is a parrhesiast. King was an American preacher and activist who is best known for his role in the African-American civil rights movement from 1950s to 1960s. He was inspired by his religious faith and peaceful teachings of Gandhi to use the power of his words as well as peaceful demonstrations such as protests, sit-ins and boycotts in an effort to achieve equality for all people. King devoted himself to fight for the equal right of black people and make the nation become more tolerant and accepting of all citizens regardless of race, class or gender.

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The first time King responded to the unjust policy with a civil disobedience in1955.

A black woman, Rosa Parks, refused to give her seat to a white person on a crowded bus and got arrested in Montgomery Alabama. It was a city known for its segregated public spaces for the white and colored people. King met with other activists to plan a citywide protest that would become known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott lased over 380 days. During that time, King was arrested and harassed by people who did not want the changes he was fighting to bring about. The boycott however was a success. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the racial segregation and transportation was unconstitutional. King’s role in the boycott transformed him to a nation figure and the best-known spokesman of the civil right movement.

In the wake of the boycott victory, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was founded by King and other ministers and activists in 1957 to better coordinates their efforts in the civil right movement. The SCLC helped to conduct nonviolent protests and demonstrations across the south to promote civil rights and reform a primary focus for the organization to register African-Americans to vote. In 1963, King led a coalition of serval civil rights groups and a non-violent campaign aimed at Birmingham Alabama that was being described as the most segregated city in the United State at that time.

After being arrested again for his participation in demonstrations, King wrote his now-famous letter “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”. This letter was written in response to a public statement of concern and caution issued by eight White clergymen form the South. The clergymen’s letter was titled “A call for unity”. King was considered as an outsider.

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Martin Luther King as Activist and Outsider. (2021, May 27). Retrieved from