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The Most Influential People of Society

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The impact involving the most influential Power in Society
Brew Watts
GKE1 Themes in U.S. and World History
GKE1: task 2

July 01, 2013 The impact involving the most influential Power in Society

Nelson and a Human Movement

One of the two most significant influences of Nelson Mandela on society involves him as one of 20th Century’s most dedicated human rights activists who fought for the movement of Anti-apartheid / Reformation and social change within world history. At the age of 9, after the death of his father, he began learning the role and qualities of a consensus leader under the guardianship of Jongintaba Dalindyebo of the powerful Thembu Regent. He later attended the Methodist primary and secondary institutions modeled after British schools at which he was introduced to western cultural values; he later received a B.A in correspondence at the University of South America and also a B.S in law from the University of Witwatersrand. In 1944 the African National Congress (ANC) was establish. He became their key negotiator, beginning his life’s journey of promoting the eradication of Apartheid in a nonviolent manner and establishing equal opportunities’/ privileges’ of all individuals in South Africa. He stood for the abolishment of the 1948 Afrikaner-dominated National Parties policy which allowed South Africa’s racial segregation that classified individuals according to their racial groups which banned them from living together, dictated where one could live, what school one could attend, where they could work, where they could be hospitalized and even the place of burial. In 1952 he organized the Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws where him and fellow members committed nonviolent but illegal acts of using and entering all white only establishment, toilets and striking,. They were later found guilty for "statutory communism" and banned from attending future political/nonpolitical rallies. In 1952 he and fellow friend Oliver Tambo established the 1st black-run law practice in South Africa.
Another major milestone involved Sept 26, 1992, when Mandela and F.W. de Klerk signed the Record of Understanding at the World Trade Center, which was the agreement to resume negotiations on different views and obstacles of the government involving the drafting of the old constitution vs. the new. It provided a grievance/resolution and compliance/appeals involving the acts of discrimination, time management, fraud and mismanagement of programs. It also prohibited the use violence and the use of weapons at all public occasions. On June 3, 1993 he and F.W. de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 27, 1994 South Africa held its 1st election nominating Mandela as South Africa’s 1st black president, a position which he held till 1999, becoming well known for advocating freedom nationally and internationally. In 1996 a constitutional law was singed guarantying freedom of expression of minority rights. In 2005 he was named by Time Magazine as “2005’s Most Influential People”. During Mandela’s triumph of the liberal movement he freed 40 million people in South Africa.
Mandela leaves behind 3 major social organizations: the Mandela Rhodes Foundation which markets potential leaders and entrepreneurs of the nation, awarding over 200 scholarships. He also established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. He established a major economic improvement and development project in the poorest region, South Africa's Eastern Cape, granting $3 billion for health care, housing and the building of a major industry that provided work for the nation's citizens halls, buildings, parks, plazas, trails, highways, buildings foundations with honoree citizenships , monuments, sculptures, musical and theaters in his name. Nelson Mandela was a man of courageous leadership who left a significant impact on the human society. A King’s Human Movement on Society
One of the two most significant influences of Dr. Martin Luther King was his being known for his role in promoting individual peace in the freedom movement in a non-violent manner; he was also a major figure in the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century. He organized massive non-violent demonstrations to being about awareness about racial discrimination, and by doing so; he demanded the freedom and the rights of all African Americans to be protected.
While visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955 a young, fourteen year old Emmit Tills was gruesomely murdered due to a prank. He was kidnapped and brutally murdered because he touched a white woman’s arm who was running a store with her husband that day. The woman’s husband, Roy Bryant, and her brother, J. W. Milam, then retaliated three days later by shooting Tills in the head and tossing his limp body into the Tallahassee River. The all-white jury later acquitted them in less than an hour. The Emmit Till case later gave rise to the Montgomery boycott (King, Cornell, & O’Donnell, 2013).
Montgomery Boycott In 1955 Dr. King was the leader of the Montgomery Boycott. During this time, the city transportation system denied the black population the right to sit anywhere on the bus and confined them to the back, sometimes with only standing room. On December 1, 1955, a pregnant 15 year old, Claudette Colvin, and 43 year old Rosa Parks refused to give up their seats on the front of the bus which was a violation of the Jim Crow law enforcing segregation. This began the Montgomery Boycott, a movement in which African Americans boycotted the transportation system. Because of the 40,000 blacks who paid 20 cents per day to take city transportation, this movement lead to huge losses of income for the system, thus leading to the Supreme Court ruling in November of 1956 stating that segregation of buses was unconstitutional (King, Cornell, & O’Donnell, 2013).
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
During this time King also founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, comprised of him and other members of what was known as the Big Six, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, A. Phillip Randolf, John Lewis, and James L. Farmer. He severed as their first president. In that role, he organized the black church, promoting non-violent protests against racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. The police responded brutally which attracted national attention. He later delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech in which he helped America envision a world where all men and women were treated equally based on their character and not the color of their skin. In 1964 the Civil Rights act was enacted, and King was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King were both influential members of the 20th century that left a huge impact on society. Both were dedicated human rights activists, focusing on members of their societies who were unjustly treated by the leaders and laws of their time. These men were responsible for the catalyzing an ongoing movement towards the equity of treatment of people based on merit and not treatment based on things people have no control over, i.e. race or gender. Without the influence of these men, the 21st century we live in today, with its focus on human rights and efficacy, would not have been possible.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was also responsible for other things that shaped the world we live in today. He promoted literacy through reading the bible, which helped the African American race as a whole become more viable in society by promoting education and pushing African American minds into the forefront of society and allowing them to take on roles in business and other arenas previously unavailable to them, not only because of discrimination, but also because the lack of education provided to them kept them at a distance from success.

King, J. D., Cornell, S., & O’Donnell, E. T. (2013). Freedom now: the civil rights movement. In (Series Ed.), Visions of America: A History of the United States: Vol. 2. , (pp. 765-772). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.
Mandela, N. (2010). The Mandela Rhodes scholarship building exceptional leaderships in Africa. Retrieved from
S. Wchulke, F., & Fernandez, B. (2012). About Dr. King/ The Martin Luther King Jr. Retrieved from
Wilson Company, H. W. (2009). The Biography of Mandela, Nelson. Retrieved from
King Jr, M. L.(2013). Martin Luther King, Jr. Retrieved from

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