Fight against Racism and Injustice
Fight against Racism and Injustice, a brief view on some famous Black lives matter activists
On May 25th, 2020 an incident took place at a grocery store in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis, USA. A black man George Floyd was choked to death by a white police officer named Derek Chauvin. The whole scene was recorded by multiple cameras and it turned out to be a disaster for US. George cried for help by saying “I can’t breathe” but police officer did not have his knee off his neck and he died on spot. Communities from every race came out on streets protesting against the murder of an innocent black man with one slogan “Black Lives Matter”. The protests spread in all states and law and order situation got out of control, some rioters stormed stores and malls and looted everything they could.
George Floyd was not the first victim of American police brutality. Every year many cases are recorded where a black man or a minority is targeted in the US by police. The protests spread all across the world and the slogan of “Black Lives Matter” was being heard from Europe to America. Many black rights activists have dedicated their lives and fought against social injustice and hate towards African American people. Some notable figures are discussed in this article.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
Martin Luther King was one of the most prominent figures of the civil rights movement in the world. His struggle against racism and social injustice started when a black woman was forced to give up her seat to a white man because of her color. The same incident happened again when a black woman named Rosa Parks was also forced to leave her seat and when refused she was arrested. Martin’s struggle started with Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. Martin was also elected as the President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference and also represented the “Big Six” (6 leaders of civil rights organizations). In 1963 he decided to march on Washington, the Washington March is one of the biggest events in civil rights history where Martin delivered his famous “ I Have A Dream” speech. The main objective of March was to demand an end of racial segregation in schools, civil rights laws, protection from police brutality and equality. Quarter million people attended this march and it was the largest gathering of protestors in the history of Washington D.C.
Martin’s notable movements include the Selma Voting Rights of 1965, Chicago open housing of 1966, the opposition of the Vietnam War and Poor People’s Campaign of 1968. On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee.
Malcolm X (1925-1965)
Al-Hajj Malik Al Shabazz also known as Malcolm X was a Muslim American civil rights activist and a notable figure in African Americans of the United States. He joined an organization named Nation of Islam and was named assistant minister of Nation’s mosque in Chicago. Malcolm was a skilled speaker and had an impressive physical presence. His involvement with the Nation of Islam put him on the radar of the FBI. He got his name in the public after the Hinton Johnson Incident when a member of the Nation of Islam was beaten by the police officers. Malcolm fought for civil rights using the platform of the Nation of Islam.
He remained in news for his controversial statements especially the one on the assassination of J.F Kennedy. His relation with Nation of Islam did not continue and he left the organization and later he told that he has life threats from this organization. Malcolm was shot 21 times and was assassinated by a member of Nation of Islam in Manhattan. Malcolm will always be remembered in history as a notable personality for civil rights in history of the United States.
Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an American civil rights activist. She was named as “the first lady of freedom movement” by United States Congress. Rosa got her fame from the famous Montgomery Bus incident when she refused to give up her seat protesting against racism. She was arrested because of that. Her action inspired black people and a movement named “Montgomery Bus Boycott” started and lasted for about 365 days. This incident became a movement and gave more power to anti-racism movements. She joins hands with Edgar Nixon and Martin Luther King Jr. in a fight against oppression against black people and went on to win a Nobel Prize. Rosa fought for civil rights during her whole life and died of a natural cause in 2005. She was awarded with many national and international medals for her work.