is forced to confront the issue.”

By the end of the Birmingham campaign, Martin Luther King and his supporters were making plans for a massive demonstration on the nation’s capital composed of multiple organizations, all asking for peaceful change. On August 28, 1963, the historic March on Washington drew more than 200,
Contents

Synopsis
Early Years
Advanced Education and Spiritual Growth
Montgomery bus boycott
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference
I Have a Dream
Assassination and Legacy

000 people in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech emphasizing his belief that someday all men could be brothers.

The rising tide of civil rights agitation produced a strong effect on public opinion. Many people in cities not experiencing racial tension began to question the nation’s Jim Crow laws and the near century second class treatment of African American citizens. This resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities. This also led to Martin Luther King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964.

The struggle continued for Martin Luther King throughout the 1960s. It seemed as though progress was “two steps forward and one step back.” On March 7, 1965, a civil rights march, planned from Selma to Alabama’s capital in Montgomery, turned violent as police with nightsticks and tear gas met the demonstrators as they tried to cross the Edmond Pettus Bridge. King was not in the march, however the attack was televised showing horrifying images of marchers being bloodied and severely injured. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized leading to the naming the event “Bloody Sunday.” A second march was cancelled due to a restraining order to prevent the march from taking place. A third march was planned and this time King made sure he was on it. Not wanting to alienate southern judges by violating the restraining order, a different tact was taken. On March 9, 1965, a procession of 2,500 marchers, both black and white, set out once again to cross the Pettus Bridge and confronted barricades and state troopers. Instead of forcing a confrontation, King led his followers to kneel in prayer and then they turned back. The event caused King the loss of support among some younger African American leaders, but it nonetheless aroused support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

During the latter part of 1965 through 1967, Martin Luther King expanded his civil rights movement into other larger American cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. But he met with increasing criticism and public challenges from young black-power leaders. King’s patient, non-violent approach and appeal to white middle-class citizens alienated many black militants who considered his methods too weak and too late. In the eyes of the sharp-tongued, blue jean young urban black, King’s manner was irresponsibly passive and deemed non-effective. To address this criticism King began making a link between discrimination and poverty. He expanded his civil