Compare and Contrast the Contributions and Achievements of Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King to the Civil Rights Movement

Essay by vickeeCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2004

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Although Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez came from very different backgrounds, their success as leaders of the Civil Rights Movement bears many similarities in its historic development. One major similarity between King and Chavez is that they were both great orators and made a number of notable speeches, which contributed to the social advancement of the minorities. King, who was ordained as a Baptist minister at the age of 27, was often put in the position to preach about what he believed in to large numbers of people. As a result, he was quite comfortable speaking to thousands at gatherings such as the historic March on Washington. Chavez, on the other hand, came from a poor migrant family and initially worried that he wasn't a good speaker. At the meetings he organised, Chavez often ended up doing more listening then speaking. However with time, his confidence grew as he found people listening and agreeing with what he had to say and so made many great speeches as did King.

Their lectures and remarks made clear their selfless devotion to their causes and gave the blacks and Chicanos a new sense of worth and dignity which made them want improvements and change even more.

They were also both very charismatic strong leaders, inspiring men and women, young and old and most vitally both coloured and whites to join their movements for equality. Each of these men also realised the importance of getting national support from vast numbers that helped them to achieve their aims. Chavez did this through appealing for a nationwide boycott of lettuce with people from all parts of the United States, who sympathised with the cause of the farm workers, refusing to buy it. Later a grape boycott was added to this, which according to a poll...