Legacy and Impact of MLK

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” said Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King was able to revolutionize society, civil justice, and faith by his wise words, inspiring messages, and his actions to match. He was able to provide people with a different kind of politics motivated by change, acceptance, and the overall fight to do what is right. He illustrated what it was like to take a controversial issue, attack it head on but with peaceful tactics, and most of all actually captivate people to listen and to do something about it. He was able to get all of this done most importantly with an emphasis on nonviolence.

Although not every one of his efforts may have been validated by being a success, he did not let the failures deter him from continuing on with the same persistence he always had. Martin Luther King transcended boundaries by taking on this movement and ensuring his message of change through peace never altered no matter what happened. The moral high ground King stood on is another reason his efforts are still so valued today in a time where it has become a lot more difficult to find strong morals in the leaders and how they choose to handle catastrophes and social uprisings.

King chose to hold protests in some of the most racist and segregated cities in the United States knowing what all could be at stake. He understood that as intelligent and wise as his words may be, his actions had to be bold as well. The Birmingham protest specifically was one that was televised and really showed the world his and many others courage as well as just how intense the hatred could be seeing as the Birmingham Police Department sent dogs and hoses on many of the protesters as well as King himself being arrested. His arrest sent shockwaves through the nation on both sides, seeing how polarizing a figure he was at the time, however he received an outpouring of support across the nation.

King never lowered his morals and peaceful tactics in order to avenge any of the chaos and violence that had been thrown their way. His letter noted as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail directed to white clergymen who criticized his tactics exposing them to his very well written defense of civil disobedience again highlighted his courage and unwillingness to be quiet and backs up his words such as “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. His persistence was irrefutable.

King also stated “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Sentiments like this one represent how King inspired people to hold themselves and those they surround themselves with accountable for their actions. Any leader that provokes people to reflect on themselves that profoundly plays a large part in his appeal and influence. His efforts led to both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights act in large part to his sheer dedication to leading African Americans, victims of injustice, and those who were at an economical disadvantage to rights and treatment they deserve.

The “I Have a Dream speech’ professed by Dr. King is something of such high caliber and still to this day is being taught, analyzed, and shared across the world. He made a call for peace in trying times and sought equality like so many had before him. Politically, this was a turning point as well, this speech was done at the highest and most respected place he could be at. He stood there with poise, eloquence, and great strength as he completely took the world by storm near the statue dedicated to the leader who a century prior was able to abolish slavery and really start navigating the search for equality and justice. His influence wasn’t just in one realm of social injustice, faith, politics, it transcended and reached all realms and is still reaching and inspiring us today.

Although many accolades has been presented to him and his legacy, his impact can be seen in all of the activists and protests and quests for reform that are being carried out by many different groups today peacefully.

Cite this paper

Legacy and Impact of MLK. (2021, Oct 04). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/legacy-and-impact-of-mlk/

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