How was Black leadership the most important factor towards advancing Civil Rights?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If the argument is that the leadership amongst the Black community was the most instrumental factor towards the advancement of Civil Rights, I would simply point to specific leaders of the time period.  Dr. King's leadership was instrumental in the movement, and in broadening its reach.  Malcolm X was extremely important in bringing attention to the issue of Civil Rights in the North and urban areas of the nation.  The young voices of the movement found resonance in Stokeley Carmichael, and other youth leaders who spoke for a time and group bound by both the needs of Civil Rights and the growing fear of Vietnam.  In the end, the specific leaders would have to be seen as the most important factors in advancing Civil Rights because they were the ones that enabled the movement grab hold of the United States and make the issue of Civil Rights both a national issue and human one, moving it away from the issue of politics and into a realm of ethics.  In this light, the leaders were essential for they helped chart the course of something that is now taken for granted, but is actually something that was far from secure.

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