Leaders in the American Civil Rights Movement: SCLC

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s advocacy and implementation of boycotts and non-violent protests characterized the American civil rights movement. Having played a significant role in the organization of the March on Washington, the Selma Voting Rights Campaign and the March to Montgomery, and the Chicago Freedom Movement (among countless others), the SCLC worked hard to represent many different narratives in the civil rights movement. The beginnings of SCLC can be found during the Montgomery bus boycott, a 381-day protest initiated by Rosa Parks’ refusal to leave her seat for a white man. Following the Montgomery bus boycott, the group reorganized and established formal leadership, electing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as their president on this day in 1957. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is pictured below in SCLC’s headquarters in Atlanta.

fernandez_benedict_j_78_1990Benedict J. FernandezDr. King in his office at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Headquarters in Atlanta, ca. 1967, (78.1990)

SCLC’s advocacy of non-violence had and continues to have an influence on the strategies adopted by many other groups fighting for justice and equality.

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