HIST102 Week 5 First Written Assignment Response

The idea of non-violence was heavily grounded in religion and common sense.  However, in order to succeed non-violent protest required not just the support of the black population but their active participation.  Black churches were the only black dominated mass organization’s in the south that were capable of uniting this level of support at the time of the civil rights movement.  Religious leaders were well respected and held considerable influence over their congregations.  In order to have a successful protest it required the support of church leaders and many of their values.  When the Montgomery activists decided to organize a bus boycott they turned to their ministers for guidance.  Martin Luther King would be the one to set the tone for peaceful civil rights protests in the future.  Martin Luther King preached love, self-sacrifice and the repair of black dignity during the boycott.  African Americans had to prove to the whites in the North that they were worthy and they were being denied their constitutional rights as American citizens.  This was part of a faith in liberal reform through the democratic process held by Martin Luther King and other advocates of non-violence.  Martin Luther King's visit to India strengthened his belief in the morality of massive non-violent resistance.  The non-violence movement was built on mass participation with religious overtones. (Graham)
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