INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. He was a Baptist minister and social activist who is remembered for his important role in the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s. King was a charismatic leader and eloquent orator who defined and shaped this movement, working tirelessly to advance racial justice until his death by assassination on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. King is remembered for his leadership in the movement’s success that lead to the end of the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. MLK is also remembered for his philosophies on nonviolent tactics and their place in the fight for racial equity, such as the historic March on Washington in1963. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
CHARISMATIC LEADER. DETERMINED ACTIVIST.
WHAT TO READ AND WATCH
DOCUMENTARIES TO WATCH NOW
BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR READING LIST
THE PROMISE AND THE DREAM
By David Margolic
A thought-provoking dual biography in which Margolic investigates the assassinations of Martin Luther King and john F. Kennedy, and how these events influenced the political path forward.
MLK: AN AMERICAN LEGACY
By David J. Garrow
A trilogy of books that take a deep dive into the life and legacy of Martin Luther King. Garrow’s work is the result of intensive research, interviews, and access to FBI case files giving us a good understanding of MLK.
THE KING YEARS
By Taylor Branch
A great highlkight reel of the Civil Rights era and King's involvement in this transformational time. This offers a great way to get your feet wet in understanding the legacy of MLK.
By Patricia Collins & Sirma Bilge
The concept of intersectionality is a relatively new concept to penetrate our understanding of discrimination and issues of bias. This book sheds a lot of light on it.
WOMEN, RACE & CLASS
By Angela Davis
A powerful overview of the women's liberation movement in the United States from the perspective of a renowned activist and central figure in the fight against racism.
SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE
By Ijeoma Oluo
A great breakdown of the racial landscape in America that tackles a host of issues from privilege and police brutality, to intersectionality and micro-aggressions.
THE TIME IS ALWAYS RIGHT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
MEMORIES AND FAMOUS WORDS
MONTGOMERY BUS RIOT
In Alabama, shortly after marrying his wife Coretta Scott, MLK was elected to be the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association -- a group formed to boycott the transit system and call for the end of segregation in the public bus system. This following the infamous incident involving Rosa Parks and her refusal to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. In his first speech to the group, his words resonated deeply and introduced the nation to a fresh new voice and a convincing rhetoric to frame what would be a powerful and long-lasting racial justice movement. Here a few words from that speech:
"We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice."
After achieving success in Montgomery, MLK made great strides in establishing a national platform to cement his philosophies and works around desegregation and racial equality. He was inspired a lot by Ghandi's concepts of peaceful resistance, as well as the liberation movements in Africa. He rose to great prominence in the 1960s, giving speeches and making connections with civil and religious groups to advance racial equity goals. Memorably, in 1963 MLK spearheaded a campaign to end segregation at lunch counters and hiring practices, which drew national outrage after police used dogs and hoses on the protestors. MLK was jailed during this protest. From his jail cell, he wrote a letter which eloquently explained his budding philosophies on the use pf nonviolence. Here are a few words from that letter:
"You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue."
I HAVE A DREAM
Shortly after the events in Birmingham, recognizing a need to strategically join forces to create fundamental change in America's racial justice struggle, MLK joined forces with other civil rights leaders to plan the legendary March on Washington on August 28, 1963. As 200,000 people gathered by the Lincoln Memorial to demand equal justice, MLK delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech -- one of his most powerful speeches that would become symbolic of his legacy. Here are a few words from this iconic speech:
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
"I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."