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173 Notes Introduction 1. Martin Luther King Jr., Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) Mass Meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church, 5 December 1955, in The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., vol. 3: Birth of a New Age, December 1955–December 1956, ed. Clayborne Carson, Stewart Burns, Susan Carson, Peter Holloran, and Dana Powell (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 71–72 (hereafter cited as Papers, vol. 3); for an analysis of this address, see Kirt H. Wilson, “Interpreting the Discursive Field of the Montgomery Bus Boycott: Martin Luther King Jr’s Holt Street Address,” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 9 (2004): 299–306. 2. King, Papers, vol. 3, 72–73. 3. King, Papers, vol. 3, 77. 4. Aldon D. Morris, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement (New York: Free Press, 1984), 105. 5. This account is taken from the tribute to Lee’s life produced as part of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Civil Rights Memorial, crm/memorial.jsp. 6. Morris, Origins, 105. 7. Morris, Origins, 97. 8. For example, the famous study conducted in the 1930s by Mays and Nickelson found that the majority of sermons had an “other-worldly” focus, in which “the practical aspects of life on earth are secondary or submerged, or . . . in which fear or reward, not in this life but in the world to come, is the dominant note.” Benjamin Mays and Joseph Nicholson, The Negro’s Church (New York: Institute of Social and Religious Research, 1933), 59. Interestingly, King’s earliest application of the Exodus story to blacks’ circumstances, the subject of chapter 3 of this book, reflects a strand of black preaching that tended to focus on individual growth and development. In that first version, the “Egypt of oppression” is as much a matter of gambling and alcohol addiction, “inordinate” ambition, and sexual promiscuity as it is racial oppression in society. Later versions of the sermon, delivered as the movement was growing, exclude this emphasis on personal morality almost entirely, focusing instead on the “Promised Land” of social and economic justice. 9. Glenn T. Eskew, But for Birmingham (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1997), 137–38. 10. Richard Lischer, The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word that Moved America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 29. 11. David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (New York: William Morrow, 1986), 18. (Italic in original. Note: All subsequent italics are also in original.) 12. Morris, Origins, 43. 13. Stephen B. Oates, Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (New York: Harper & Row, 1982), ix. Other important biographies of King that focus on this period include David L. Lewis’s King: A Biography, 2nd ed. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978) and Taylor Branch’s Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988). 14. See also Stewart Burns, To The Mountaintop: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Sacred Mission to Save America: 1955–1968 (New York: HarperCollins, 2004). 15. Oates, Let the Trumpet Sound, ix. 16. Reflecting the same perspective is Adam Fairclough’s To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987). 17. Morris, Origins, xiii, xii. 18. See Adam Fairclough, “The Civil Rights Movement in Louisiana, 1939–54” in The Making of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, ed. Brian Ward and Anthony Badger (Washington Square: New York University Press, 1996), 15–28; John A. Kirk, “‘He Founded a Movement’: W. H. Flowers, the Committee on Negro Organizations and the Origins of Black Activism in Arkansas, 1940–57,” in Ward and Badger, 29–44; and John White, “Nixon was the One: Edgar Daniel Nixon, the MIA, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” in Ward and Badger, 45–63. 19. J. Mills Thornton III, Dividing Lines: Municipal Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002), 11. 20. Richard Lentz, Symbols, the News Magazines, and Martin Luther King (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990), 2–3. 21. Mary L. Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 13–14; see also Philip A. Klinkner and Rogers M. Smith, The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of Racial Equality in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999). 22. Although King has received a great deal...


Subject Headings

  • King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 -- Language.
  • Exodus, The -- Sermons.
  • Exodus, The.
  • African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century.
  • Civil rights movements -- Southern States -- History -- 20th century
  • Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • King, Martin Luther, -- Jr., 1929-1968 -- Oratory.
  • Rhetoric -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • Rhetoric -- Religious aspects -- Christianity -- History -- 20th century.
  • Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century
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