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Visionary Leaders

However, the "black direct-action protest movement" began to adopt his ideals into their ideology (Franklin and Meier 79-82).

Franklin and Meier argue that African-American leadership historically came from two sources. Early community leadership came from the African-American clergy, while later leaders came from intellectual activist circles, like W.E.B. DuBois. As a minister and a "militant black protest leader," Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. represented a synthesis of both sources of leadership (Franklin and Meier 277). The term militant may be misleading, however, as King militantly advocated the use of non-violent protest-like boycotts or sit-ins. In light of the fact that King's ideology incorporated a clear plan for action which was enacted on national scale, his work stands in clear contrast the largely intellectual positioning of DuBois. David Levering Lewis describes how King's strategy had a clear formula:

Unsuccessful presentation of elementary grievances; mouting of increasingly provocative peaceful demonstrations; gross acts of violence by white citizens and outrageous misconduct by local law enforcement and judicial bodies, relentlessly reported by the national media (Franklin and Meier 279).

In addition to leading demonstrations, King represented an incredibly compelling public figure. His incredibly compelling orator, exemplified in "I Have a Dream," made him just as much of a propagandist as DuBois. However, his rhetoric was far more inclusive. This passage provides a significant example:

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny (King).

King carried out his strategy and his speaking with a variety of Civil Rights organizations: the Montgomery Improvement Asso...

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Visionary Leaders. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:22, August 17, 2017, from
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