Martin Luther King Life and Work


The Bus Boycott took place in Montgomery, Alabama. It was triggered when a black woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat for a white man. It happened in 1955 and sparked off a public outrage. After the arrest, Martin Luther King called on blacks to stop using the bus services. The boycott persisted for 11 months, when it eventually ended with the bus companies going bankrupt and the segregation laws being scrapped.


The Sit-Ins occurred in “White Only” lunch counters in the year 1960. The situation occurred when a black person was refused service at a bus terminal. The waitresses would simply not serve him while he sat there waiting. The eventual outcome was that all of the students ended up being served.


The Freedom Ride situation happened on long distance bus routes. It happened in 1963, when blacks and whites sat together on buses. The situations were known when blacks sat in restaurants and buses and were attacked. The eventual product was that blacks ended up going south without being attacked.


The “March to Washington” situation occurred in Washington on the 28th August 1963. 250,000 people gathered in Washington to hear Martin’s “I have a dream” speech. The eventual conclusion was that the civil rights law was done away with, and a year later Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize.


The Selma situation happened in 1965 in Selma, North Carolina. It was a situation protesting against the voting rights of blacks. There were two protest marches. The first march was planned to start in Selma and proceed 80km down the road to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. But it was brought to a halt by the Police. They charged and mercilessly knocked down the protestors, trampling them under the stampede. But two weeks later, another march was planned, and this time, it was allowed to proceed. The situation was received when blacks were pushed away and disallowed to vote. The white policemen told them that they could only vote if they answered questions like “How many bubbles in a bar of soap?” or “How longs a piece of string?” Eventually, the voting law preventing blacks was abandoned and blacks were allowed to vote, but some places still disallowed blacks to vote.


The Memphis situation occurred on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in 1968. When Martin Luther King stood on the balcony, he was shot and killed by the sniper James Earl Ray. The words that are found on Martin Luther King’s grave are, “Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.”