I Have a Dream of Equality in the Media
Martin Luther King, Jr. led many non-violent protests which stated to the public the need for equality for black Americans, all of these protests recommended to both blacks and whites how to improve the condition of blacks in America. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, related protests in Birmingham, and the March on Washington are all peaceful ways King communicated his beliefs and ideas to the public.
One of Martin Luther King Jr's most famous peaceful protests was the March on Washington. During the march, King gave his well-known, "I Have A Dream" speech. He stated to the people of the United States of America that there was a need to end all forms of discrimination. The content of the march essentially demand the passage of the Kennedy Administration's Civil Rights Package -"without compromise or filibusters", the integration of all public schools by the end of this year, a federal program to "train and place all unemployed workers --Negroes or whites-- in meaningful and dignified jobs at decent wages", and a federal Fair Employment Practices Act excluding all job discrimination. (New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia) All four of these goals have been accomplished in the past 32 years, bringing the blacks to nearly equal society of the whites.
Another recommendation Martin Luther King made to blacks was in the beginning of his civil rights movement during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He wanted to use Gandhi's principle of non-violent persuasion to protest against racial segregation in public transportation. This occurred after the arrest of a black woman, Rosa Parks, who did not want to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus. After 381 days the boycott was lifted when public transportation was finally desegregated. Due to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and King's non-violent persuasion, all public transportation was slowly desegregated. (Encarta 95 Encyclopedia)
The events occurring in Alabama were an important movement headed by King to stop segregation. The wave of protests began in Albany, Georgia in 1961 for equal rights among blacks and whites. They reached a peak in the Spring of 1963 when a series of demonstrations occurred in Birmingham led by King and many other civil rights leaders. Such demonstrations were held at lunch counters and other sites to protest racial discrimination. City police attacked the peaceful demonstrators with police dogs and high-powered fire hoses. There were many arrests including King himself. It was at this time that King wrote his famous "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" which set forth his theory of nonviolent direct action (Reference of Black America, Volume 1).
The Selma to Montgomery march of 1965 also led by King furthered the passage of the federal Voting Rights Act. Although the Voting Rights Movement in Mississippi made slow progress, the civil protests in southern urban centers achieved important gains. King's dream became a partial reality when, in 1965, another series of protests in Selma prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to introduce new voting rights legislation, which was passed in that summer. It had a dramatic impact on black voter registration. In Mississippi, the percentage of blacks registered to vote increased seven percent in 1964 to fifty-nine percent in 1968 (Encarta 95 Encyclopedia)
It is clear to see that many of King's recommendations became a reality in America. Since the start of the Civil Rights Movement, blacks and other minorities have a greater chance of equal opportunities to have the same rights as whites in our society.
New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia