Essay On The Assassination Of Martin Luther King

Essay On The Assassination Of Martin Luther King-80
When Blacks in Memphis, Tenn., appealed for their civil rights in 1866, rampaging white terrorists burned homes and churches in the Black section of that city and massacred 47 Blacks.The killing of 27 delegates by a white mob at the Louisiana State Convention in New Orleans in 1866 was described by one observer as "systematic massacre of Negroes by whites." Of 16 Blacks elected as delegates to the Mississippi Constitutional Convention in 1868, two were assassinated by whites.Reforms were ultimately defeated by Southern white intransigence and violence.

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King's tragic death in Memphis in 1968 was not, unfortunately, historical aberration.Combat reports indicate that, Black prisoners were murdered by Southern troops following, for example, the 1864 Battles of Fort Pillow, Tenn., Poison Spring, Ark., and the Crater at Petersburg, Va.In the decade following the Northern victory in 1865 and the freeing of slaves from bondage, a spate of laws, engineered to guarantee the rights of newly emancipated Blacks, were adopted.Laws restricting Black mobility and educational opportunity were adopted by Southern legislatures, while the rights of slaveholders were jealously protected.Involuntary servitude was, however, outlawed in the North, and leaders of the new Nation such as Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and John Woolman called for an end to slavery.Civil rights violence dates back at least to the mid-18th century, with the slave revolts of that period and their brutal suppression by whites.Roaming bands of runaway slaves in the South attacked plantations, and, in 1775, fears of a general slave uprising led to the annihilation of at least one group of Blacks by white soldiers in Georgia.They included the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and 7 civil rights acts.The promise of equality during postwar Reconstruction, the period of reestablishment of the seceded States into the Union, however, was not realized.In 1859, Brown seized the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, W.Va., in the hope of arming a Black force that would free slaves in the South.


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