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Martin Luther King Jr. - Wikipedia

There are numerous biographies of King. My account of King’s life relies on Carson, “Introduction” to Papers of MLK; David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (New York: Random House, 1986); and Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–1963 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988).

 Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), p. 76.

See, for example, ibid., pp. 3–7, and Drew Hansen, The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech That Inspired a Nation (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), pp. 222–226.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Wikipedia

Martin Luther King, Jr., “I See the Promised Land,” in A Testament of Hope, pp. 279–286.

every act of injustice mars and defaces the image of God in man. ~Martin Luther King, Jr., , 1967


Unfortunately, most of the major denominations still practice segregation in local churches, hospitals, schools, and other church institutions. It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, the same hour when many are standing to sing: "In Christ There Is No East Nor West." ~Martin Luther King, Jr., , 1958


We were all involved in the death of John Kennedy. We tolerated hate; we tolerated the sick stimulation of violence in all walks of life; and we tolerated the differential application of law, which said that a man's life was sacred only if we agreed with his views. ~Martin Luther King, Jr., , 1963


President Lyndon Johnson's high spirits were marked as he circulated among the many guests whom he had invited to witness an event he confidently felt to be historic, the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act....

had stumbled against the future. ~Martin Luther King, Jr., , 1967


Liberalism provided me with an intellectual satisfaction that I never found in fundamentalism. I became so enamored of the insights of liberalism that I almost fell into the trap of accepting uncritically everything it encompassed. ~Martin Luther King, Jr., , 1963


When the Negro was completely an underdog, he needed white spokesmen. Liberals played their parts in this period exceedingly well....

Martin Luther King Jr. - Biography - Nobel Prize

Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t Wait (New York: New American Library, 1964), p. 32.

In keeping with other social-democratic liberals of his era, King believed that modern societies had solved the problem of producing wealth. What remained was to invest society’s wealth in the solution of social problems, beginning with poverty. As poverty became the primary civil rights problem, socioeconomic class inequalities would eventually supersede racial inequalities in his ordering of priorities. This was consonant with his fundamental commitment to integration and moral universalism. Viewed in this light, one can see in King’s second-phase thinking the roots of the left-leaning variant of the argument for color-blind social policy advanced in the succeeding generation by the influential sociologist William Julius Wilson.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was a great champion of great principles, laboring mightily and in the end sacrificing his life to advance the cause of equal rights for all. Among the generations succeeding him, he is almost universally revered, accorded a virtually unchallengeable authority as a source of wisdom in matters of race, equality, and rights. Amid such reverence, to achieve a clear-sighted, fair-minded judgment of King’s political thought is no easy task. For that same reason, however, to achieve such a judgment is for us a moral and civic imperative.

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Facing the Challenge of a New Age,” in A Testament of Hope, p. 144.
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Rare Photos of Martin Luther King Jr

Papers of MLK, Vol. 1, pp. 362–363. A slightly different account appears in Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958; repr., Boston: Beacon Press, 2010), pp. 4–5.

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Moral Heroes

Clayborne Carson, “Introduction,” The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992–), Vol. 1, note 98. Cited hereafter as Papers of MLK.

SparkNotes: Martin Luther King, Jr.: Summary

Michael Eric Dyson, for instance, lauds King as the greatest American ever, especially by virtue of the relative radicalism of his last few years, which Dyson regards as a bold departure from King’s earlier civil rights vision. Michael Eric Dyson, I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. (New York: Free Press, 2000), pp. ix–x, 1–29, 78–100.

Students' essays share how Martin Luther King Jr. …

This was King’s frequent self-description; see, for example, his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. James M. Washington (New York: HarperCollins, 1986), pp. 297–298.

free essay on Biography of Martin Luther King Jr. Essay

With respect to his second-phase demands, however, one must wonder whether King, even as he attempted to dispel the disillusionment that marked the mid- to late 1960s, actually contributed to it by his suggestions that the far more complicated problem of repairing blacks’ socioeconomic disadvantages could be resolved with similar dispatch by a federal government determined to do so. Perhaps thinking of its propriety and effectiveness in phase one and certainly moved by his alarm at the outbreak of widespread rioting in those years, King in phase two applied the rhetoric of Now, of impatience for radical change, to a set of problems to which its application was ill-conceived and possibly harmful—problems whose resolution required not only wisely crafted public policy, but also an extended, patient, laborious effort at self-elevation by the erstwhile victims of injustice, who would have been better served by rhetoric designed to inspire and sustain such an effort.

Free essay on Biography of Martin Luther King Jr

“It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws-racism, poverty, militarism and materialism” (King, “Testament,” 194).

After her husband’s death, Coretta Scott King established the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change (also known as the ) to promote Gandhian-Kingian concepts of nonviolent struggle.

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