Justice Through Nonviolence: Martin Luther King is Motivated by Gandhi


Bob Fitch photography archive, © Stanford University Libraries Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to India in 1959. Gandhi’s philosophy directly influenced King, who first employed strategies of nonviolent direct action in the 1955 to 1956 Montgomery bus boycott.

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Who Was Mohatma Gandhi?

He was an Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India. He was born in 1869, October 2.  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is widely recognized as one of the twentieth century’s greatest political and spiritual leaders.  Gandhi is most famous for his philosophy of nonviolence that he called “truth force”.  This philosophy has inspired civil rights leaders around the world.  He fought for the social justice in South Africa and helped win independence in India in 1947.  Gandhi was a national leader, a freedom fighter, a visionary, a humanist, and a socialist reformer. He has been a source of inspiration and role-model for not only the common man, but various other leaders such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela as well.

As a student born in Bangladesh, I first heard about Gandhi when I studied world history at age 13. I remember many people of different religions in India and Bangladesh .I am Muslim.  In Bangledesh I had friends who are Hindu, Christian; we can thank  Gandhi for his message. Now in America I know people from many cultures and we can thank Dr. Martin Luther King for his message.


                                                   Who was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr?   

 Martin Luther king Jr was a Baptist minister and social rights activist in the united states in 1950s and 60s. He organized a number of peaceful protests as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, including the March on Washington in 1963.Martin Luther King, Jr., is a civil rights legend. In the mid-1950s, Dr. King led the movement to end segregation and counter prejudice in the United States through the means of peaceful protest. His speeches—some of the most iconic of the 20th century—had a profound effect on the national consciousness.  The civil rights leader was arrested 29 times and assaulted four times.

King was largely responsible for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Civil Rights Act banned discrimination in the workforce and public accommodations based on “race, color, religion, or national origin.” The Voting Rights Act protects African Americans’ right to vote.

Martin Luther King, Jr., is known for his contributions to the American civil rights movement in the 1960s. His most famous work is his “I Have a Dream” (1963) speech, in which he spoke of his dream of a United States that is void of segregation and racism. King also advocated for nonviolent methods of protest. May 1, 2020

In 1964, MLK received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work for equality in the United States. MLK’s success is greatly impacted by his many soft skills. He was an incredible orator and motivator, leading 200,000 people to march on Washington in 1963 where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He was a social activist and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. King sought equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest.


                                                What was the Montgomery Bus Boycott?                                                                       The Montgomery bus boycott was a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. It was a foundational event in the civil rights movement in the United States.

Sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks on 1 December 1955, the Montgomery bus boycott was a 13-month mass protest that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a civil rights protest during which African Americans refused to ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest segregated seating. The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation  .The Montgomery Bus Boycott was “381 days of peaceful protest when ordinary men, women, and children sent the extraordinary message that second-class citizenship was unacceptable Despite .all the harassment, the boycott remained over 90% successful. African Americans took pride in the inconveniences caused by limited transportation. One elderly African American woman replied that, “My soul has been tired for a long time.

SOURCE: King Institute @ Stanford University

I am coming to united states learning history of Martin Luther king. Martin Luther King fought for the civil rights with nonviolence.  Mohatma Gandhi inspired  the American Martin Luther.  Some examples of peaceful economic protest use by Gandhi  were the “Salt March” when thousands of Indians were making their own salt by marching to the sea.  This avoided paying the British for taxes.  They also were making their own clothes using handspun cotton to avoid paying the British for expensive manufactured cotton. They declared independence from British economics and made them pay the cost of their unjust colonialism just as the Americans made the city of Montgomery, Alabama pay the cost of racist segregation on their public bus system.