Misremembering Dr. King
Revisiting the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
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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This b.ao.ao.ak.a is a resp.ao.anse to the collective amnesia about Dr.?Mar-tin 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 many challenges to us as a society; the fact that we have been unwilling to ...
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M.ay think.aing.a o.an D.ar.?K.aing.a 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 discus-sions about Dr.?King and his work and for the insights they have provided along the way. There are a few people in particular whom I would like to ...
Introduction: Memory and Forgetting
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M.aartin L.au.ather K.aing.a J.ar. 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 Dr.?King has become an iconic figure in the pantheon of American ...
The Misappropriation of Memory
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...employment, housing?people of color, and in particular African Ameri-cans, fall way behind white Americans. On top of this, law enforcement, the courts, and our criminal justice system have relentlessly targeted Af-rican American communities; as a result, one in three black men is now We are in the midst of severe societal crises. A serious reconsideration ...
1. What We Remember
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M artin Luther King Jr. was born into an exceptional family in At-lanta, 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 trained as a teacher, although her teaching career was cut short by laws that precluded married women from teaching. Both of Dr.?King?s parents ...
Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement
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...rents were higher than for modern apartments in the suburbs?and this for smaller apartments with fewer amenities. Yet, restrictive covenants forced African Americans into overcrowded, dilapidated areas of the city.At the same time that Dr.?King was turning his attention to the eco-nomic issues facing African Americans outside the South, our involve-...
Dr. King and Nonviolence
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...? The Higher Education Act of 1965 established the Upward Bound program, which made college education a reality for many who had ? The Civil Rights Act of 1968, passed in the wake of Dr.?King?s assassination, and also known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibited These various pieces of legislation and the numerous safety net pro-...
2. What We Forget: Dr. King’s Warning about the “Giant Triplets”
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; he was one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century. From the very beginning of his public life, Dr.?King spoke and wrote about three forces, ...
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...the Highlander Folk School, a training center in rural Tennessee for labor There are some things in our social system to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I suggest that you, too, ought to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to the viciousness of mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the evils of segregation and the crippling ef_fects ...
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...today: Are we indeed trying to be God?s military agent on earth? Is this an appropriate role for the United States, or any other nation-state? The lack of public engagement around these issues and the lethargy, cynicism, and disengagement from public discourse that we are witnessing are harmful Dr.?King called for a revolution in values and a turning away from war. ...
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...away from those living in poverty and toward the illusory ?middle class,? the programs that have provided a degree of protection for the most vul-nerable are now under attack. We owe it to ourselves and to the memory of Dr.?King to protect whatever gains have been made, reverse spiraling inequality, and work toward a society that honors everyone?both here ...
3. Why It Matters
M artin Luther King Jr. was truly a prophetic voice. He warned us about a number of forces that, if lef_t unchecked, lead to an increas-ingly 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 of which have their origins in systems of injustice. History would sug-gest that, at some point, systems based on extreme injustice collapse. ...
Whose Problem? White America’s Special Responsibility
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Clearly, I believe that we should be paying attention to Dr.? King?s prescriptions. But who should be paying attention? The short answer is that all of us should?everyone. That said, I think there is a special and particularly urgent role for white people?particularly those of us who have most benefited from the system. The societal racism Dr.?King fought ...
A Challenge for All of Us
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...other racially marginalized populations to demand that our institutions change their preferential treatment by race?and when we are prepared to see that it gets done?at whatever cost. That?s when it will happen.For the evils of racism, poverty, and militarism to die, a new set of values The United States has become a society of vast social cleavages with a ...
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Page Count: 88
Publication Year: 2013