Southern Christian Leadership Conference
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Martin Luther King, Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, Ralph Abernathy
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The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) began as a response to Rosa Parks' protest during the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-1956. In January 1957 Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor in Montgomery and prominent leader during the Montgomery bus boycott, invited approximately 60 people to Atlanta to form an organization to encourage similar activism. The goal was to continue working toward racial equality through nonviolent protests across the country. Inspired by both the pacifism of Mahatma Gandhi and their own Christian faith, SCLC members organized protests in Albany (1962), Birmingham (1963), St. Augustine (1964), and Selma (1965). With Martin Luther King Jr. as the organization’s president, they sought black churches to help mobilize their social activism. King’s death in 1968 dampened some of the organization’s momentum, but today the SCLC continues the fight against racism and inequality.
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King, Martin Luther
Abernathy, Ralph
Civil Rights Movement

SCLC marchers 1963- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsca-37242

Martin Luther King, Jr speaking at Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, 1957- National Archives and Records Administration

Martin Luther King, Jr- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-126559

Selma to Birmingham march 1965- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsca-08102

Signing the Voting Rights Act, Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr- LBJ photo by Yoichi Okamoto
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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