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Word Count: 698
Martin Luther King more than any other figure shaped American life from the mid-50s to the late 60s This was a time when large numbers of Americans barely recognized as such by sanctioned power dared to dream of what the country could be at its best in the face of what often was its worst For example in December 1955 days after Montgomery civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to obey the citys rules mandating segregation on buses a bus boycott was launched and King was elected as president of the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association As the boycott continued through 1956 King gained national prominence as a result of his exceptional oratorical skills and personal courage Despite attempts to suppress the movement Montgomery buses were desegregated in December 1956 after the United States Supreme Court declared Alabamas segregation laws unconstitutional Kings leadership took place during the most tumultuous period in Americas recent past Under his guidance the unfathomable goal of abolishing federal and state-sanctioned segregation and discrimination was accomplished in only a few short years King was asked by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to aid in the struggle for civil rights in Birmingham Alabama Thus he was there because injustice was present 154 He was not content with a system that saw his people or people of any color as second class citizens He set out to bring equality for people everywhere So often they had become victims of broken promise 155 As a result he was determined to create an unstoppable organization reshape a struggle and with his articulated vision craft a strategy that took defeats and turned them into victories Although fellow clergymen urged him not to come to Birmingham he could not sit idly and be unconcerned with the maddening demonstrations that were taking place Kings factual and reasoned approach is intended to win his adversaries over by appealing to their consciences King works with a rhetorical
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