I’m studying and need help with a Social Science question to help me learn.
Based on your reading in the webtext, respond to the following prompt in one to two paragraphs.
Describe the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on the effort to expand civil rights for African Americans. How might the struggle for civil rights have evolved differently if Dr. King had not been killed?
Be sure to answer the following questions in your post:
- What were one or two specific consequences of Dr. King’s assassination?
- Do you think these events would have taken place even if Dr. King had not been assassinated? Why or why not?
In response to your peers, explain whether you agree or disagree with their conclusions. Provide specifics reasons as to why or why not.
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.
Dr King was viewed as the Civil Rights Movement’s leader by not just blacks, but whites as well as politicians and civilians alike. He had an ability to turn their protests around to make their opponents look worse and to gain sympathy for their cause.
Had Dr. King not been killed, I believe the Civil Rights Act would have moved along much faster. Dr. King was an intelligent, and eloquent man who was able to bring people together for peaceful protests. The movements notable events changed after his assassination. The entire movement began to fall apart, and peaceful protests devolved into racial violence. This led to a loss of sympathy and support for reforms to address racial discrimination. Why did these protests become violent? It may have been that his followers were angered by his murder and wanted retribution. It could also be as simple as the fact that they did not know how to get their point across without violence.
The death of Dr. Martin Luther King had a huge impact on the ultimate success of the expansion of civil rights for African Americans. Dr. King became a martyr of sorts – a symbol of the need for civil rights change in the United States. His death became the prompt for people to speak and act out and join the civil rights movement, making it stronger than it had ever been before. Calls for firm civil rights action by religious leaders and other civil rights activists were made to Lyndon Johnson following the death of King. Had King not been assassinated, the civil rights movement may have taken a more peaceful course to resolution. King was a charismatic leader and was very motivational. I think King would have made efforts to influence political leaders and get them more involved in the movement. Through his use of non-violent protest and inspirational leadership he may have made in-roads towards civil rights with much less violence than actually occurred.
One of the consequences of his death was that there were riots in over 100 US cities. People in these discontented areas were upset, angered and disillusioned and they were in mourning over the death of King. Kings death was the spark that ignited violent riots that were seated in the anger and frustration due to the lack of change in civil rights in urban environments as well as in the southern states. Had King not been assassinated, these riots may not have been happened at all. King was a proponent of non-violent protest, so these riots would not have been something he would accept or stand behind.
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