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Martin Luther King Junior As An American Icon

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According to the dictionary “Cultural icon refers to an object or an entity (an artifact) that highly represents a particular culture or subculture”. ICONs are a symbol of culture which are admired and respected by people, recognized by others, and equated with cultural events or effects. People who become an ICON strongly are influenced by society, shared experiences, ideas, and feelings. They became icons for lot of different reason. Some people are an ICON for their appearances such as Marilyn Monroe who is a beauty icon, Elvis Presley “rock and roll” icon, or movement and impressing speech such as Martin Luther King Junior who was Civil Rights Movement icon. Not too long ago the world was different as people see today, however one man started a revolution which helps people of numbers for a good cause and changed the word. Although some skeptical people criticize Martin Luther King Junior and do not believe that his dream was not fulfill, however for others Martin Luther King Junior is one of the biggest American icons and is considered as an American hero.

Martin Luther King Junior was a black African- American minister who fought for peoples rights. He was inspired by Gandhi, which won right and freedom in India by applying non violence action, and he wanted to do the same things in the United States.(The significant ). King was a person who wanted to help others and gave the same opportunity all people. No matter what was their color skin, religion, and color skin its. He was an advocate and friends for this who struggle with poverty, social justice and discrimination. (The legacy).

Martin Luther King Junior said “We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity.”(Stanford). King lived during segregation in America. Although the American Constitution guarantees all people the same right, Afro-Americans did not have equal opportunities and rights such as whites. Black people were treated like a lower class of people. They did not vote, access to medical help, education, and better jobs was limited for them. Furthermore, they earned less money for doing the same work as white people. Segregation was also in school, black kids did not play with white kids, used the same toilet or used tap water like white students. Times were different back then and it really was not that long ago. Moreover, black people could not take a seat in the bus whereas white person was close. For example, when Rosa Parks refused to give her seat for white person, she went to jail. Although American law did not establish that white people had priority to take a seat in the bus, she was punished because of her color skin. When she asked the officer why she was punished, he said “I do not know, but the law is law” (The significant.)

King believed that if people will act individually they can encourage more of the population to take their voice and it will be become powerful. He saw the problem and wanted to change the world. He realized that people were scared to act, because they were afraid to be punished for inappropriate behavior. So, he understood that African-American and low income class people need someone who will protect and support them. Moreover, he believed that “One real idea-powerful and vulture can change the world.”

Martin Luther King Junior wanted to impact for people by religious feeling, love and nonviolence actions. (The significant). In order to influence people, he started to have speeches in churches and had political and social messages that if people will act individually they can encourage more people to take their voice and become powerful.

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King Junior was after Rosa refused to get her sit, Kings started to organize the Bus Boycott Movement, and the letter SCLC’s Birmingham Campaign. As a leader in the boycott movement, King made sermons and speeches. Also he provide sit-ins, stand-ins, meetings, and marches. (The Significant). During protest he was arrested and spent two weeks at prison. Although, Montgomery Buss Boycott Movement was successful for Civil Rights, segregation still existed. For example, in Alabama afro Americans were still discriminated. People who protested in Alabama were attacked by police which used dogs and braving water jets in order to stop them. After, these events, the government had to illegalize segregation. Moreover, King got more voice from people not only black but also white. He encouraged people to be more tolerant.

Their skin color, religion, origin, age should not discriminate people because everybody is different in in a lot of different ways. Moreover, the American constitution gives the same law for all people. Consequently, in March on Washington he gathered 250,000 people from different nationalities on the ground and millions in home watching television. During this speech King said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in nation there they will be not judged by color skin but the concept of their character” ( In 1964 congress established that discrimination is illegal, and segregation become illegal.

King never stopped, he also criticized capitalism, and he wanted to increase a guarantee minimum payment.(Martin Lutter King Half Forgotten). Martin Luther King becomes an American icon because of his impressive speech and action. As a young man in 1964 he got a Nobel, and all money passed on the right movement. It is difficult to imagine that more than 60 years ago people experienced segregation and huge discrimination. In addition, his nonviolence movement was known around the world, and other countries such as Poland, the Philippines, South Africa, and China were inspirited and used nonviolence force in order to fight about their right. (The Legacy of MLK)

Although Kings action had a big impact on peoples life, racial discriminations still existed. Afro American still experience discrimination. For example, black people are more likely to be stop by a police officer and get pulled over, they have to waiting longer than white in a hospital, access to education better jobs and loans is still limited. Moreover, most of black people still live in a red districts which means that kids are studing in school which get less money from federal government. People experience discrimination in other way too, for example some people still believe that all Mossman are terrorist. Hovewer, there is no clear correlation between Muslim and terrorism because of not all of musulam are terrorist. People who has different religion became terrorist too. Furthermore, immigrants also experience discrimination. Some people still believe in myth about immigrants. Some people believe that immigrants take good work place in the united States, and they do not want to payed. However this is not true because majority of immigrants work for lower weight in place whihch native born American do not want to do. Although people every days experience discrimination they are not alone. Currently in the United States there is a lot of organization which support people who experience discrimination. Obama who was the first afro American presided said “Our work is not done”(The significal).

He had the same dream like King to change America and support people. He supported public service. For example, he created the program Obama Care which basic medical free helped for people who were not able to pay for their treatment. Furthermore, Obama created “Daka” which gave possibility for illegal immigrants to become legal and do this with low. Also he believes that increasing income will help to fill the American Dream, and he admitted that Washington March was for better jobs and justice (How Obama is). Nowadays, people still remember about Martin Luther King Junior the third Monday on January people celebrate federal Holiday “Martin Luther King Junior Day”. President Clinton singed this holiday as national day of community service (The Legacy of MLKJ). Also around the world is a lot of street which has the name of King.

In conclusion, people or things become icons for a lot of different reasons. Icon are admired and respected by populations over the word. Beginning icon because of changing the world is the same as beginning a hero. Some people still criticize Martin Luther King Junior, however he has also a lot of supporters. King influenced people by his speech, and non violent actions. Nobody, before King trad to change the word for lower class people. His impressive speech, open mind and heart not only afro Americans, but also white people. King fought for people which had to struggle with every days discrimination poverty, justice, and race. Although racism still exists these people today has their voice. The do not go to jail because they did not give a sit in bus. They have access to better jobs, education. This movement guarantee all people the same right and no discrimination.

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Martin Luther King Junior As An American Icon. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
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