Comparison of MLKJ and Thoreau.

Essay by abashamUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2003

download word file, 3 pages 3.7

The presence of strong moral values developed King's character, which enabled him to become one of the most influential leaders of our time. Integrity is a central value in a leader's character and it is through integrity that King had vision of the truth. The truth that one day this nation would live up to the creed, "all men are created equal". King taught this truth using tactics of non-violent resistance. He was brought up believing "one man can make a difference", and this is just what he taught us... without violence. Even when his own life and the life of his family were threatened, King remained peaceful.

In his "Letter from Birmingham Jail", he could only hope that what he had written will be seen as the truth: "If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me.

If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me."(King) King also believed that all people should be treated with equality and fairness; anything less was unjust. This became the basis for the Civil Rights Movement. The fairness King sought was one value that allowed King's followers to have so much respect for him. King wanted to see justice prevail and he and many of his follower felt that it did in the signing of the 1964 and 1968 Civil Rights Act. Through King's strategies, minorities were granted many rights they had previously been refused. They now had the right to vote, access public accommodations, and racial discrimination was prohibited in the sale or rental of housing. With this King was one-step closer to seeing America live...