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Why Martin Luther King's Campaign Was Not Working

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Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the crucial leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement. King was known for his non-violent views and protests. He established with other members of the clergy the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), a campaign involved in non-violent protest in the form of boycotts, demonstrations and marches against the denial of civil rights to African Americans.

In 1964 in Mississippi the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) asked young people, both black and white to devote their summer holidays to help end segregation in Mississippi. This became know as 'Freedom Summer'. Volunteers were under constant threat of violence. White people burned down 37 churches, bombed 30 houses and buildings, beat up 80 people (who were involved in the project), arrested over 1000 and murdered 3 people. The dangers of involvement in the Civil Rights Movement started to increase.

'Bloody Sunday' was 7th March 1965. SCLC activists, 600 to be precise, consigned on an 80-kilometer march from Selma to Montgomery. The march was to highlight the cause of voting rights for African Americans. Waiting at Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge were police, the crowd was attacked with clubs and tear gas. Younger and more radical supporters of the Civil Rights Movement began to openly question the effectiveness of Martin Luther King's used of non-violent protest.

The 1960's saw the development of more radical methods and individuals seeking civil rights for African Americans. With constant violence towards non-violent protests and groups the belief of many African Americans that's integration was unrealistic and non-violence was ineffective.

A 21 year old man by the name of Malcolm Little was sent to prison. Whilst in prison he began to study and converted to the Nation of Islam. He then took the last name X to acknowledge the true African name that had been taken from him. He was release from prison in 1952, and then became a leader of the Nation. Malcolm X believed that African Americans needed to become militant in order to defeat white racism. Around 30 000 African Americans has joined the Nation of Islam by 1963 and Malcolm X had become its best-known spokesperson. The Nation of Islam felt and believed that their enemy was the white man, the 'blue-eyed devils', they had the right to defend themselves with violence and to take revenge on white society.

Bobby Seale and Huey P Newton founded



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