Southern Christian Leadership Conference Is Founded (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The birth of the SCLC establishes a leading force in the nonviolent direct-action movement.
Summary of Event
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), organized on February 14, 1957, in Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, quickly became one of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations. The SCLC grew out of the 1955-1956 Montgomery bus boycott and the emergence of Martin Luther King, Jr., as the leader of that protest and a new face on the national political scene.
When Rosa Parks, an African American seamstress from Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, her arrest triggered one of the most successful nonviolent protests in the annals of the Civil Rights movement. King, only twenty-six years of age and a new resident of Montgomery, was selected to lead the boycott. King and other protesters created the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to negotiate with the city of Montgomery and determine strategy for the protesters. After more than eleven months, during which protestors walked rather than riding the buses, the MIA and King won a major victory: The Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision outlawing segregation on Montgomery’s buses. King’s leadership of the bus boycott transformed him from a local leader into a major national political figure.
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision, the Reverend...
(The entire section is 1390 words.)
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