The Nonviolent Rebel: Martin Luther King Jr.

648 words - 3 pages

Rebel, Merriam-Webster defines it as someone who opposes or takes arms against the government. Many Americans believe it is someone from the confederacy or someone who forcefully attacks someone or something they disagree with. This is especially common with the younger generations as most of what they see on the television and in movies is violence and governmental infiltration through violence. A large number of these children, adolescents, and young adults will never realize there is an alternative way of protest other than violence. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. found that way from the inspiration of Henry David Thoreau and his ways of transcendentalism.
Though Dr. King had a larger number of followers his basic approach was the same as Mr. Thoreau. Non-violent protests made by Thoreau include his essays, peaceful time in jail, and his speaking out in public. If you’re wondering where I’m going with this it is that Dr. King did all these things as well. He wrote such things as Why We Can’t Wait, “I Have a Dream”, and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”. Dr. King also spent some time in the Birmingham jail like Thoreau spent time in jail; they both went for going against what they thought was wrong in a peaceful way. Another similarity between the two men was that when they rebelled it was for a cause and not just to say “Hey look at me I rebelled and you didn’t.” Thoreau rebelled because he believed the war with Mexico was wrongly fought and Dr. King rebelled because even though the emancipation proclamation was passed one hundred years before African Americans were still treated like pets or dirt in some places. Thoreau Spent his time in jail for non-paid back taxes and Dr. King went for organizing and marching in a peaceful march that was illegalized right before the march took place.
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