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Zack Ramsey Ramsey1

July 18, 2019


Eng-111-502

During their times Martin Luther King Jr. And Susan B. Anthony were both influential

activists for their people and for what they believed in and you can see the ways that they

affected our county to this day. Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolently fought for the rights of

African American people and Susan B. Anthony fought for women's rights but specifically their

right to vote. Neither of these people truly got to see their fights come to fruition. Martin Luther

King Jr. Did get to see the end of segregation but he never saw the true ending, when all schools,

bathrooms, and water fountains were desegregated, and even to this day, there are still countless

injustices faced by African Americans across the country. Susan B. Anthony fought to allow

women to vote but she never saw a time where women could vote without being denied. Susan

B. Anthony died on March 13, 1906 but women weren't able to easily vote in elections until the

19th amendment to the United States Constitution was passed on June 4, 1920 because the 19th

amendment stated that voters couldn’t be denied on the basis of sex but she was able to vote in

federal elections because of the 14th amendment which was passed on July 9, 1868, which

allowed women to vote but they were still nearly always denied and charged if they managed to

vote.

Before Susan B. Anthony and all of the other suffragettes of her time and the ones that

were yet to come the only people that could vote were white men. If you wanted to vote and you

weren't white or a man you could be denied on a basis of race and sex. But Susan B. Anthony

only focused on women mainly white women because even though they could legally vote they

could be denied because of their sex and she realized how morally and legally wrong this is. She

knew she could legally vote because she knew her rights and the 14th amendment but the people

who ran the voting registries could still deny her without prosecution because she was a woman

and they were men. The 15th amendment stated that voters cannot be denied based on “race,
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July 18, 2019
Eng-111-502

color’ or previous servitude” but this never mentions sex so women could still be denied. Susan

B. Anthony was very important in the process of allowing women to vote without being denied

but she was just the case that went far through the justice system and made national headlines.

She was charged and instead of just accepting it she fought and spoke out about it.

Martin Luther King Jr. Was the son of a pastor and he originally wanted to be a pastor, so

he was taught throughout his life how to draw a crowd and how to give a speech. He was known

for his nonviolent ways of protest and for the speeches he gave. His “I have a dream” speech is

still mentioned, spoken about, and studied more than fifty years later. He fought for an end to

segregation. In the United States places were segregated and this was allowed because it was

described as “separate but equal” when it was never equal. The places labeled for “whites only”

were always much better. There is a famous picture of a water fountain where the water comes

from the same place but the fountains that the water comes out of is much worse. Martin Luther

King Jr. Realized this injustice and knew that something had to be done to change living

conditions for African Americans in the United States. He organized nonviolent protests,

marches, and gave speeches to gain a following. When Martin Luther King Jr. Gave his “I have a

dream” speech around 250,000 people came to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to

listen to his speech. As expected, though when you have a following especially one as large as

his you will have people who hate you. Martin Luther King Jr. saw the legal end of segregation,

but racism and racial profiling continued long after his death. Martin Luther King Jr. was

assassinated by a white man named James Earl Ray who didn’t agree with Martin Luther King

Jr.’s beliefs and felt the need to kill him because of it.

While both individuals were influential for their demographics and everyone else Martin

Luther King Jr. was the more influential of the two. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed problems
Zack Ramsey Ramsey3
July 18, 2019
Eng-111-502

that affected everyone not just African Americans. Segregation affected men and women of any

race in the United States. There were some white people who supported African Americans but

there weren't many and if they supported them publicly, they were shamed and attacked. You

would be ostracized from society just because your views weren't the same as nearly everyone

else in society.

Martin Luther King Jr. helped more than just African Americans. He helped all

minorities because anyone who wasn’t white was affected by segregation and how to use the

“colored” when they went places or had to use the one labeled “colored” or else they would be

prosecuted. Martin Luther King Jr. was trying to end the racial profiling and stereotypes that

affected and controlled everyone's lives. Segregation controlled the lives of everyone no matter

their skin tone because of fact that everyone who wasn’t white had to deal with the unfair and

unequal treatment that they were out through and white people were taught that is was ok to treat

people like unequally even though in the United States Declaration of Independence states “We

hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.” but all men weren't treated

equally during the civil rights movement or when that was written for that matter.

You can forget the works that these people put in to live in a better for themselves and

everyone that comes after them, but Martin Luther King Jr. did more for more people making

him the more important and memorable of the two comparatively.

All Amendments to the United States Constitution. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2019, from

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/education/all_amendments_usconst.htm
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Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2019, from

https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/assassination-martin-luther-king-jr

Brown v. Board at Fifty: “With an Even Hand”. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2019, from

https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/brown/brown-segregation.html

The Segregationists’ Arguments. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2019, from

https://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/history/5-decision/segregation-argument.html