Essay on Leadership Skills of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Abstract
This paper will analyze and study the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and how leadership skills helped him in accomplishing his goals. The characteristics that made Dr. King a great leader will also be addressed. By studying great leaders, insight can be gained into what qualities they possess. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation. The movements and marches he led brought significant changes in the fabric of American life through his courage and selfless devotion. This devotion gave direction to thirteen years of civil rights activities. His…show more content…
King. On March 9, 1969, before coming to trial, he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to ninety-nine years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. In recent years, events in the lives of the King family have continued to reflect the tragedy and the triumph so uniquely combined in Dr. King's own life and is intrinsic, perhaps, in the lives of all dedicated persons the world over. (Intellectual Properties Management)
After reading the biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, the writer feels that he was destined to change the world. The marches he participated in made a huge difference in how Americans feel about segregation/integration of civil rights. His legacy, to stay awake, adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge (Intellectual Properties Management) gives one a sense of how he wanted to change the world.
Dr. Martin Luther King was a great leader, a person with no fear of the outcome. He became an effective leader of the civil rights because of his desire and willpower. He instilled trust and confidence in people. He was an effective communicator by helping others understand what he was trying to achieve. He was trustworthy and able to communicate a vision. He sought responsibilities and took responsibilities for his actions. He guided the people who followed him to new heights, and when things went wrong, Dr. King didn't blame others, instead he took the
For the past three centuries the black population of America had been discriminated and prosecuted against by the white community. Centuries of fighting this discrimination have allowed great leaders among the black community to emerge. One such leader is Martin Luther King Jr., an inspiring and symbolic figure for civil right movements around the world. His leadership and determination in his campaigns against racial discrimination and his campaign
to help the deprived people of the United States show that King is a courageous and skillful leader.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Throughout his lifetime Martin Luther King Jr. staged many movements to gain rights for the black community of America. One of these campaigns was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott started when a black women, Rosa Parks, was arrested for violating a segregated ordinance on a public bus in Montgomery (Byers 20). In response to this arrest black citizens were outraged and many civil rights groups mobilized to organize retaliation against the city. The black groups planned a city transportation boycott, which in the long run proved successful. Although the white officials resisted the group’s demands they eventually succumbed to federal court decisions. King emerged as one of the key and primary leaders for the boycott showing his intelligence and leadership in organizing such a successful event. During the whole length of the boycott he was, “arrested slandered, received hate mail and phone threats, and his house was bombed” (LaBlanc 131) and through all this he still maintained his policy of nonviolence. This commitment truly shows that Martin Luther King was an exceptionally brave man.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After his success at Montgomery, King formed the group now known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or SCLC. King was elected president and soon embarked on his next quest to help communities organize their own protest against discrimination (Seattle Times). His next campaign was the “sit in” movement in Greensboro, N.C where African American Students had been protesting segregation at lunch counters in city stores (Byers 20). King led this campaign and was successfully able to end segregation at these lunch counters. During this campaign King was arrested along with 36 other students for breaking segregation law. John F. Kennedy himself, who at the time was campaigning for presidency, was so inspired by King’s courageous act that he ordered for his release and dropped all charges against him. His selfless leadership to gain rights for the black students of Greensboro shows more proof that King was an embodiment of true courage.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As black civil rights movements around the country gained many of the rights they never had before King was still not satisfied. He wanted his fellow people to have the same rights and opportunities as the white community. His next civil rights movement was in Birmingham, Alabama. His objective in this city was to end segregation in downtown stores, to achieve equal opportunity in employment, and to establish a biracial commission to promote further desegregation (LaBlanc 133). To reach these goals he organized a march to attract attention to their cause and put pressure on local businessmen. In response the Birmingham police moved against the march with clubs and attack dogs. Soon after the state court issued a law barring further marches. King and some of his close associates were not willing to stop the marches and defied the court order. They were arrested and placed in solitary confinement (LaBlanc 133).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">During his stay in the Birmingham jail he wrote his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”. After King was released on appeal, he rejoined the marchers and with renewed vigor they set out. Around 3000 more marchers were arrested and marches were being broken by police with clubs attack dogs and high-pressure hoses. All throughout this brutality King remained firm behind his non-violent policy and soon Birmingham’s white businessmen and officials agreed under a growing tide of negative publicity to Kings demands (LaBlanc 133). As with his previous campaigns white extremists bombed King’s hotel and his brother’s house. Even with this danger to his close relatives King had the courage to stay focused on helping the greater black population. If he had been a normal man he would have turned away long ago proving that King is a remarkably brave man.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In August of 1962 King’s civil right movement began reaching its pinnacle. With a number of goals already accomplished he and several other civil right associations banded together for a march on the capital. On August 28, 1963, approximately 250,000 blacks and whites marched on Washington D.C. to raise the nation’s consciousness of civil rights and to encourage the passage of the Civil Rights Bill before Congress (LaBlanc 133). The marchers crowded the area from the Washington monument to the Lincoln memorial listening to black leaders give their speeches. King was the last speaker of the day and gave his famous “I Have a Dream Speech.” He began referring to the lack of progress over the last hundred years since Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and by the time he finished he strayed from his prepared speech to one drawn from past sermons and the inspiration of the moment (LaBlanc 133).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This movement proved to be extremely successful and improved King’s stature as a leader of national and international prominence. In January of that year he became the first black American to be named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” (LaBlanc). And, later that year in December he received the Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest person ever to be awarded the honor. His achievements show that his courage and leadership paid off in the end and that he was incredibly brave to persevere to this point. Very few men in the world receive the Nobel Prize for Peace.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the march on Washington, King continued to fight for the rights of the black population. After a number of successes he moved his goals to the North but soon discovered that the young and angry blacks cared little for his preaching and even less for his non-violent policies (Seattle Times). His failure in the North was one of the reasons he moved his cause to the war in Vietnam. Soon enough King headed many anti-war groups and laid the groundwork for what would be known as the Poor People’s Campaign. From King’s viewpoint the main domestic issue that was directly related with the war was poverty.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He began planning his largest campaign ever including large non-violent “camp-ins”, national boycotts and a massive march on Washington D.C. Before his plans could be set into motion, King left for Memphis, Tennessee to support a sanitation worker strike. It was during this campaign that King was shot in the neck by a rifle bullet. He died a few hours later in a Memphis Hospital. Even after he had succeeded in gaining rights blacks had not even dreamed of King had not been satisfied. He had the courage to want better for every man and woman of every race. His Poor People’s campaign made King a symbol of inspiration and courage for every race.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Martin Luther King is considered by many to be a symbol of courage. His bravery truly shows through his many accomplishments and achievements. He had the bravery to go where no one else had gone before gaining rights for every man and woman of every race. Not to mention that he did more for civil rights movement in his short life than had been accomplished in decades. His selfless sacrifice to accomplish his goals truly shows that Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most courageous people in history.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Works Cited:</p> <p style="text-align: center;">LaBlanc, Michael L., ed. Contemporary Black Biography. 1st ed. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1992.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Byers, Paula K., ed. Encyclopedia of World Biography. 1st ed. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1998.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“The life of Martin Luther King Jr.” The Seattle Times: Martin Luther King Jr. The Seattle Times. 30 March 2005 .</p> <p style="text-align: center;">“King, Martin Luther, Jr. originally Michael L King.” Biography.com – King, Martin Luther, Jr. 30 March 2005 .</p>