In “MLK: Charismatic Leadership in a Mass Struggle”, the idea of “King Myth” stands out. King’s role was underestimated however his power was exaggerated and overestimated and the civil rights did not solely depend on him, and without him, we would not have the civil rights movement. He is always seen as the idolized leader; a peaceful person leading a peaceful movement, however, fighting for racial justice is much more complex and controversial than that. Although his important role in the civil rights movement and work in ending the segregation of the people in the nation should not be denied, people should also look at his flaws as a person. Carson mentions that “because the myth emphasizes the individual at the expense of the black movement, it not only exaggerates King’s historical importance but also distorts his actual, considerable contribution to the movement” which I totally agree with. I think it was really interesting to see how this article explains how the more credit King is given, the less there is for the rebellion itself.
Zinn discusses the steps the government has taken during the civil rights movement in his chapter “Or does it explode?”. He explains how history has shifted in order to show how the United States government has played a great role in ending the struggle more than it actually did. He mentions that the federal government did not actually intervene to support the movement when the police and government involvement was mainly to stop the peaceful resistance. The government would only make small changes rather than fundamental ones to grab the attention and give people some sense of satisfaction with the actions they are taking. However, people were not satisfied and I feel that people are still experiencing nowadays a feeling that they are unprotected especially when it comes to issues of civil rights and the fight for equality.