I Have a Dream Historical Context

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King and the Civil Rights Movement

Though black Americans had been struggling for equality and freedom since the rise of Jim Crow legislation at the end of the nineteenth century, the civil rights movement began in earnest with the use of civil disobedience, or the disregard for unjust laws. In 1955, African American Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger. Her subsequent arrest led to a boycott of the Montgomery bus system, organized in part by Martin Luther King Jr. The boycott lasted for thirteen months and resulted in the integration of the bus system.

In the wake of the success in Montgomery, black leaders formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) as a way to organize further social protests against segregation and racism in the South. King became a major figure and main spokesman for the SCLC as its...

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This section contains 1,273 words
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