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Misremembering Dr. King

Revisiting the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Jennifer J. Yanco

Publication Year: 2013

We all know the name. Martin Luther King Jr, the great American civil rights leader. But most people today know relatively little about King, the campaigner against militarism, materialism, and racism—what he called the "giant triplets." Jennifer J. Yanco takes steps to redress this imbalance. "My objective is to highlight the important aspects of Dr. King’s work which have all but disappeared from popular memory, so that more of us can ‘really see King.’" After briefly telling the familiar story of King’s civil rights campaigns and accomplishments, she considers the lesser-known concerns that are an essential part of his legacy. Yanco reminds us that King was a strong critic of militarism who argued that the United States should take the lead in promoting peaceful solutions rather than imposing its will through military might; that growing materialism and an ethos of greed was damaging the moral and spiritual health of the country; and that in a nation where racism continues unabated, white Americans need to educate themselves about racism and its history and take their part in the weighty task of dismantling it.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiv

This book is a response to the collective amnesia about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The popular memory of Dr. King’s leadership of the civil rights movement and his advocacy of nonviolence as a tool for social change is accurate, but there is much more to the story. Dr. King posed...

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p. xv

My thinking on Dr. King and his legacy has been influenced and shaped by countless people and experiences over the years. I thank the friends and colleagues who have so generously engaged with me in discussions about Dr. King and his work and for the insights they have provided...

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Introduction: Memory and Forgetting

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pp. 1-8

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most important moral voices of the twentieth century. Central to his work was the question of how we treat one another. His commitment to nonviolence as a tool for social change and his courageous leadership were driven by the conviction that...

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1: What We Remember

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pp. 9-19

Martin Luther King Jr. was born into an exceptional family in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929. His father, a Morehouse graduate, was a Baptist minister and civil rights leader active in the NAACP. His mother, Alberta Williams, was a graduate of Hampton University, where she...

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2: What We Forget: Dr. King’s Warning about the “Giant Triplets”

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pp. 20-69

Dr. King was a great leader of the civil rights movement; he lived, practiced, and made popular the principles of nonviolent protest. But he did so much more that our collective memories leave out of the picture. Martin Luther King Jr. was not only an activist and public figure...

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3: Why It Matters

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pp. 70-82

Martin Luther King Jr. was truly a prophetic voice. He warned us about a number of forces that, if left unchecked, lead to an increasingly unjust and unstable world. We have chosen not to heed his messages and find ourselves in a state of growing crisis on a number of fronts, all...


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pp. 83-91


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pp. 92-92

E-ISBN-13: 9780253014245
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253014160

Page Count: 88
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 877363177
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Misremembering Dr. King

Research Areas


Subject Headings

  • King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968.
  • King, Martin Luther, -- Jr., 1929-1968 -- Political and social views.
  • Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • Nonviolence -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • Civil rights workers -- United States -- Biography.
  • Baptists -- United States -- Clergy -- Biography.
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