Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement Questions and Answers

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In his acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King, Jr. likens his experiences in the civil rights movement to traveling on a road. Explain how using a road as a symbol for his experiences impacts the meaning of the speech. Be sure to use specific details from the speech to support your ideas.

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In Oslo, on December 10, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. accepted the Nobel Peace Prize and likened his struggle in the civil rights movement to a road he is traveling. In his speech he says,

The tortuous road which has led from Montgomery, Alabama to Oslo bears witness to this truth. This is a road over which millions of Negroes are traveling to find a new sense of dignity.

King likely made this comparison for many reasons. Through his activism, King was literally marching and traveling on many American roads across the country. He is famous for his March on Washington in 1963, in which he advocated for a change in civil rights. He also helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, which aimed to register African-American voters. In this particular march, protesters walked 54 miles.

Notably, roads also represent progress and change. King says,

This same road has opened for all Americans a new era of progress and hope.

King discusses how the violence of the past must end and make...

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