Civil Rights Movement

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The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was a civil rights organization that consisted of mainly African-Americans and was closely connected to its founder, Martin Luther King Junior. This organization played a very significant role in the American civil rights by enforcing peaceful direct action to stop the legal and social discernment against the black Americans. The organization through the support of their very powerful leader Luther King Junior organized and funded a lot of demonstrations in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Although the organization lost its impact after the assassination of the King in 1968, the SCLC did not stop its operations but continued working to better the lives of African Americans.

The SCLC arose back in 1955 after black Americans in Montgomery, Alabama successfully boycotted bus services which led to the United States Supreme Court upholding the integration of those buses (Fairclough, Adam (85). An African American social activist Bayard Rustin who desired to carry the Montgomery win to the South prodded Martin Luther and his team to form the Southern Negro Leaders Conference in 1957 during a meeting in Atlanta. Since the King had gained popularity as a leader of Montgomery Improvement Association, he was given the role to lead this organization as well which was the precursor of the SCLC. The SCLC looked forward to carrying out Gandhi an, peaceful direct action protest matches all over the South hoping that they will bring to the end racial discrimination, voting right be granted to the blacks among other advantages. They also wanted to transfer the civil rights proceedings from the court chambers to the society wishing to talk directly to the white Americans to end the racism and bring about social changes. The first action before the protest was to lead a prayer journey to Washington, D.C in 1957 that attracted more than 25 thousand people. In 1959, it planned a protest march to the Washington D.C that was attended by an approximated fifty thousand youths.

Though SCLC was having very successful protests but it was in a weak position due to the poor organization during its first years. It had challenges trying to achieve its objectives, especially in voter registration. Its success began to show later in the 1960s after they hired leaders like Andrew J. Young and Bishop Wyatt T. Walker. The organization continued to recruit more members of staff and they had improved from five to sixty-five staff members between 1960 and 1964, and the union influence on the civil rights movement reached its peak. The SCLC’s advancements gave it the chance to organize historic demonstrations that played an essential duty in the public rights movement.

The organization in 1963 led demonstrations and boycotts in Birmingham, Alabama, that aimed at ending the police brutality. During the protests, those watching televisions in the United States were shocked to witness how the police brutally engaged very peaceful protestors which led to many questions among States residents.

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