Martin Luther King, Chicago and Assassination

MLK felt that black people in the northern states had been ignored for much of the civil rights campaigning because the focus had been on the southern states

He started the Chicago Freedom Movement

Chicago chosen because ¼ of its population was black and most lived in poverty and were unemployed

MLK promoted the same non-violent methods he’d used before but those methods weren’t successful

White people in Chicago were surprisingly hostile to MLK – he had a brick thrown at his head during a march

He believed that wealth should be spread evenly between blacks and whites

Many whites feared a fall in their house prices if blacks moved to their street

White people threw rocks and bottle at black protestors

MLK left Chicago in 1966 having been very unpopular and unsuccessful there

April 1968 visited Memphis where black refuse collectors were demanding equal pay and treatment and was assassinated

Assassination of Martin Luther King

MLK was finding it difficult to control his followers as they became increasingly frustrated by his principle of non-violence

MLK’s killer was James Earl Ray, a white racist, was arrested and jailed for the crime – though there is still doubt as to whether he was the real killer

Funeral attended by 100,000 people and his coffin was followed by 200,000 mourners

Impact of his death: final outburst of rioting in 100 cities, 46 people died, 21,000 people arrested – this violence was ironic given MLK’s views about violence

1968 President Richard Nixon came to power and the Vietnam War took centre stage over the civil rights movement