The paper addresses an African America leader. The discussion in the paper explains a brief history of the leader, the leader’s background and the type of leadership that the leader used. Besides, the paper explains the ideology that the leader pushed towards, and how the ideology influenced positive or negative change in the United States. The leader that the paper discusses is
Martin Luther King Junior.
Background of Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15th in the year 1929. His initial name was Michael, which he later changed to Martin. Marin Luther King Jr. was brought up in a Christian family, whose grandfather was a pastor in Ebenezer Baptist Church located in Atlanta. Martin Luther King Jr. followed the same footsteps where he served as a pastor since 1960 to his death. He attended several schools in the United States of America (Bruns, 2006). He started schooling at Georgia where he later graduated from high school at the age of fifteen. He pursued the higher education where in the year 1948, he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from a black people institution known as the Morehouse College located in Atlanta. Martin Luther King Jr. pursued theology where he acquired a doctorate at Boston University. He married a woman known as Coretta Scott where they bore two daughters.
In the year 1954, Martin became a preacher of the word of God in a popular church in Alabama known as Avenue Baptist Church of Dexter. However, he did not just preach but also stood for the civil rights of the black people (Bruns, 2006). Through the fight against racism, he became a member of an antiracism organization which was known as the National Association of the colored people. After joining the organization, Martin Luther King Jr. became famous for being at the forefront to fight against racism and exploitation of the black people. His popularity gave him the chances for being voted as a leader. His first leadership act was leading a peaceful demonstration in the United States which involved Negroes. The demonstration was based on bus boycott which lasted for three hundred and eighty-two days. However, the demonstration and boycott gained national attention where the United States Supreme Court declared the laws on bus transport unconstitutional. Initially, the laws segregated the blacks from the white people in that; the blacks rode on their buses while the white people rode on white buses (Ling, 2015). However, after the United States Court declared the laws unconstitutional, both races would travel in similar buses hence being the first step of Martin Luther King to fight against racism. Nevertheless, the demonstration caused Martin Luther King Jr. arrest, where his home was bombed and became a subject to human abuse. However, the struggle did not end seeing that; Martin Luther King Jr. became the most highly ranked Negroes Leader (Ling, 2015).
As he continued to fight for the Negroes rights and racism, Martin Luther King Jr. gained several positions such as being elected as the president of a Christians’ oriented group that was created to fight for the civil rights. The organization was dubbed Christian Leadership Conference, which was also a new kind of organization with the new type of leadership. Being the president of the Christian Leadership Conference, Martin Luther King Jr. played his role as the god of the colored people. He traveled far and wide to the United States of America where he spoke for the black people. Moreover, most of the speeches were based on injustice, racism and civil rights seeing that; they were the three major occurrences that affected the black people who could not fight for their rights (King at.al, 2005). Also, he spoke for the black people whenever they demonstrated seeing that; they would not get the chances to express themselves not unless through protests. However, the government and the constitution could not do much according to the demands of the Negroes hence often demonstrations. Martin Luther led the largest demonstration in Alabama. The demonstration caught the world’s attention seeing that the leader had enough evidence that showed the exploitation that the blacks went through and the racism that affected most of the Negroes. Martin Luther King Jr. called the protest the coalition of conscience since it was based upon the expression of the Negroes suffering and at the same time the Negroes revolution. Also, the demonstration was inspired by one of his articles titled, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (King at.al, 2005).
His determination to liberate the Negroes gave him more popularity where the Negroes sided with him, and they would walk with him in each and every peaceful demonstration and protest. Martin Luther organized the registration of Negroes as voters thus being given a chance to vote in their ideal leaders. He did the most inspiring thing through a peaceful march to Washington D.C where he brought more than 200, 000 people to the square and read his speech dubbed, “I have a dream.” He became the first Negro to be awarded the Nobel peace prize and also became a world figure remembered for his good work (Ling, 2015).
Style of leadership
Martin Luther King Leadership was oratory. He was a leader who would influence change through speeches and actions that showed his loyalty to what he wrote and spoke. The speech at Washington D.C is one of the speeches that portray his type of leadership (Ryan, 1995). The speech dubbed ‘I have a Dream” remains to be one of the most prominent speech that was recorded to have the most influence to what Martin Luther King fought against. The speech mobilized people of all races to stand for civil rights and especially the black people who faced a lot of exploitation in the United States of America. Moreover, the speech acted as the liberator of the black people seeing that; it acted as the strength factor for the black people to fight against racism and also the anti-racist legislation. The principle of his leadership is political attributed to ensuring that; the speeches and books he wrote influence change. The same applies today where the oratory leadership is meant to influence change to the citizens of a given state, the government and especially to put emphasis on a particular issue (Ryan, 1995).
The unmet issue that Martin Luther Addressed
The unmet issue that brought about the rise of Martin Luther King Jr. was racism. The Negroes or in the United States did not have justice. They were viewed as worthless people and still existed as if they were in a different world that they were not supposed to exist. The issue about the bus laws was one factor that showed the level of racism in the United States. The black people could not be allowed to travel in the whites’ buses. Moreover, the legislature had not constituted any rights concerning racism. However, Martin Luther fought against racism where he brought about the legislation of the anti-racism laws and the registration of the Negroes for voting.
The Black Nationalism ideology
Also, Martin Luther King brought about the ideology of Black Nationalism. The blacks were recognized as citizens though given the least priorities in the United States. They did not have the power to express their grievances to the authority due to racism was on the rise. Moreover, they were denied civil rights such that they never had the authority to do what they pleased nor conduct themselves according to their will. However, Martin Luther King brought a change to the oppression of the blacks by bringing the ideology of Black Nationalism. The Negroes grievances were recognized, black people allowed being part of the government and registration of the blacks as voters.
Martin Luther is a symbolic symbol of true leadership and true influence of change. The fact remains that; the revolution and liberation of black people remains an issue. However, the anti-racism legislation is one major role aspect that Martin Luther influenced hence making him a renowned leader.
- By Martin Luther King (Jr.), Clayborne Carson, Peter Holloran, Ralph Luker, Penny A. Russell (2005) The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr: Threshold of a new decade, January 1959- December 1960California U.S.A.
- Halford Ross Ryan (1995)U.S. Presidents as Orators: A Bio-critical SourcebookWestport. London.
- Peter J. Ling (2015) Martin Luther King, Jr. Taylor and Francis New York. U.S.A
- Roger Bruns (2006) Martin Luther King, Jr. A BiographyWestport. London