In 1957, King, Ralph Abernathy, and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The group was created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform.
Gandhi's nonviolent techniques were useful to King's campaign to correct the civil rights laws implemented in Alabama.
Journalistic accounts and televised footage of the daily deprivation and indignities suffered by southern blacks, and of segregationist violence and harassment of civil rights workers and marchers, produced a wave of sympathetic public opinion that convinced the majority of Americans that the Civil Rights Movement was the most important issue in American politics in the early 1960s.
King organized and led marches for blacks' right to vote, desegregation, labor rights and other basic civil rights.
King and the SCLC applied the principles of nonviolent protest with great success by strategically choosing the method of protest and the places in which protests were carried out.

Efforts to register black voters in Selma (Dallas County) Alabama began in 1963 with local organizers joining the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  After passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which banned racial discrimination and protected voting rights, African Americans continued to be disenfranchised at every turn. On February 18, during a peaceful protest march, activist Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot by a state police officer. In 1958, while signing copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom in a Harlem department store, he was stabbed in the chest by Izola Curry, a deranged black woman with a letter opener, and narrowly escaped death. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into the law of the United States with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
However, before being added to the voter roll, you are told you must pay a poll tax or pass a literacy test—a test with questions such as “How many county judges are there in the state?” or “Name each of the county judges in the state.” Many people, educated or not, would not be able to answer these questions. His death would be the catalyst for the march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery.

The first march took place on March 7.  Some 600 marchers would be attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by troopers and county locals armed with barbed-wire billy clubs and tear gas.
Constitution prohibited the denial of the right to vote of any citizen based on “race, color or previous condition of servitude” by both the federal and state governments, it would be 100 years before African Americans had that right fully enforced. Images of the violence on Bloody Sunday as it would become known were seen worldwide.  Two days later, instead of walking through the police presence which had moved to allow the marchers to pass, Dr.

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