What the Hell Did They Do?: A Brief Critique of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement

On the MarchEver since ‘Selma’ the Movie hit theaters I have been seeing individuals on social media speaking to this film in one fashion or another. But something that continues to catch my eye is that I see many Black people recommending it along with some tagline essentially saying watch it because Dr. King did all of that for you.

My query is what the hell did Martin Luther King Jr. do for me or any other Black person in this country? Let’s not limit this question to MLK Jr., but let it apply to the entire Civil Rights Movement. No one can effectively point to any authentic positive thing this movement done for Black people. To quote a phrase Dr. Claud Anderson says quite often regarding Black people.

“You have not moved one iota from where you were in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War. You are still on the bottom of the ladder, you’re still on the outside and underneath the economic structure of this country . . . there is no progress for Black folk.”

Earnestly all the Civil Rights Movement has done is cripple Black people and made them more dependent on the dominant society and victims of White Supremacy. Let’s look at a few things briefly that is generally attributed to the Civil Rights Movement that we experience at present.


Since Black people was set-free at the very most they could ever acquire was ½ of 1% of the wealth in this country. At present Black people still possess ½ of 1% of the wealth in this country. Now if Martin Luther King done something for Black people how come the aforementioned number did not change following the so-called victory of the Civil Rights Movement?


Integration was one of the WORST things that occurred to Black people in the US. I am happy to see that many are slowly waking up to this reality. Integration was just another name for slavery. The reason being that at one point even though they had to face the Klan, Jim Crowe and White Supremacy in general Black people managed to build prosperous bustling centers of commerce in various locations throughout the country unofficially dubbed Black Wall Street(s). Even in locations where they were not as successful as the Black Wall Streets they did manage to attain a level of independence from the dominant society in many areas. In others words Blacks owned businesses and had their own economy.

Yet when integration was initiated Black people took their money and began to spend with the White society instead of their own people. This resulting in many of those thriving Black owned businesses to close and those that did not close was bought out or burned out. Now fast forward we have a little over 45 million Black people totally dependent on the dominant society i.e. White people for their livelihood.


I am not going to spend too much time on this point (for now) because it is the biggest joke of them all. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement promised Black people equality with Whites but they allowed the Whites whether Conservative or Liberal to determine how this equality should look. This so-called equality attempted to touch on many areas but economics which should have been the primary area of focus.

The Vote

This is all well and good but what’s the point of having the means to vote if Black people lack any knowledge of how politics in reality works especially in the US. Politics is run on money, politicians are supposed to the employees of the corporation known as the United States of America. Like with any company your employees will not carry out your demands/desires unless they are being paid. Likewise with politicians. If you are not monetarily supporting their campaigns and having your lobbyists show up at their office with a check with numerous zeros behind a number they are not going to do a thing for you. So if Black people do not have the economic structure behind their votes then we will not get any of our demands met. In actuality we do not even need to vote if our economics are in order.

My Conclusion

Accordingly just from these few areas alone we see that Martin Luther King Jr. or the Civil Rights Movement DID NOT do anything remarkable other than make headlines, annoy White people and enrich them and send Black people in the US down a path of destruction. I know this is hard for many to stomach because of how the Civil Rights generation has romanticized that era to where all the participants or claimed participants in the movement have acquired some Black “saint” status. But Black people really need to stop celebrating our failures and strive to actually change the course that the Black collective is heading down.



What the Hell Did They Do?: A Brief Critique of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement

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