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Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did

This will be a very short diary. It will not contain any links or any scholarly references. It is about a very narrow topic, from a very personal, subjective perspective. The topic at hand is what Martin Luther King actually did, what it was that he actually accomplished. The reason I'm posting this is because there were dueling diaries over the weekend about Dr. King's legacy, and there is a diary up now ... entitled, "Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream Not Yet Realized." I'm sure the diarist means well as did the others. But what most people who reference Dr. King seem not to know is how Dr. King actually changed the subjective experience of life in the United States for African Americans. And yeah, I said for African Americans, not for Americans, because his main impact was his effect on the lives of African Americans, not on Americans in general. His main impact was not to make white people nicer or fairer. That's why some of us who are African Americans get a bit possessive about his legacy. Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy, despite what our civil religion tells us, is not color blind. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 20, 2014 - 99 comments

Clarence B Jones, wiretapping and Dr Martin Luther King.

Thanks to the FBI, he has a vast — and accurate — archive of the time. "If I have a fuzzy memory or hazy memory, I look at it, and there's a verbatim transcript of the conversations. Clarence Jones, Dr Martin Luther King's legal advisor, talks to NPR about working with Dr King, the metaphor he supplied to the "I have a dream" speech and the extent of the surveillance of King and his associates by the US security establishment. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Aug 27, 2013 - 8 comments

The March.

The March (1963, restored) from the US National Archives.
posted by feelinglistless on Aug 23, 2013 - 7 comments

The Misremembering of ‘I Have a Dream’

Fifty years after the March on Washington, Dr. King’s most famous speech, like his own political legacy, is widely misunderstood.
posted by brundlefly on Aug 23, 2013 - 51 comments

Audio recordings of 1964 interviews with Civil Rights activists

Robert Penn Warren's book Who Speaks for the Negro? was a collection of interviews with various men and women involved in the Civil Rights Movement published in 1965. Vanderbilt University has made all the interviews available as audio and transcripts, taken from the original reel-to-reel recordings. Among the interviewees were Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Septima Poinsette Clark, Ralph Ellison, Stokely Carmichael, James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin. On the page for each interview there are links to related documents, such as letters, photos and contemporary news articles.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 5, 2013 - 13 comments

Free at last

Thank God almighty... One hundred and one years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and two months before the march on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to 25,000 people in Detroit, and made it clear to America that "the Negro is now determined to be free". This speech in Detroit became the foundation for King's speech in Washington...."I have a dream..." On June 23rd we celebrate the 50th anniversary of that speech in Detroit.
posted by HuronBob on Jun 21, 2013 - 4 comments

Words of wisdom from the not-so-distant past

17 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes You Never Hear
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 20, 2013 - 32 comments

...one day right there in Alabama little blue squares and green squares will be able to line up with little white squares and yellow squares as sides of a cube.

MLK mural in reverse-solved Rubik's Cubes.
posted by univac on Oct 3, 2012 - 16 comments

King Center Archive

The King Center archive launched a new web interface this year, featuring online access to thousands of historical documents relating to Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.
posted by latkes on Jan 23, 2012 - 9 comments

The fans want the feeling of A Tribe Called Quest / But all they got left is this guy called West

Here's never before seen footage of a teenage Kanye West performing at the Double Door in Chicago in 1996 (YouTube) Want to go farther back in time? After posting the 1996 video DDotOmen readers uncovered footage of a 12 year old West, performing "His Name Means Love," a poem he wrote in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, at Vanderpoel Elementary School in 1990. (YouTube) [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Jan 17, 2012 - 15 comments

"The author ran out of time, leaving plenty of stories untold."

How Gil Scott-Heron and Stevie Wonder set up Martin Luther King Day, with audio slideshow. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Jan 16, 2012 - 15 comments

This post contains Seasonal CBC awesome - Happy [safe] (upcoming) Holidays - Just Saying

This year the CBC Massey Lectures celebrates fifty years with bestselling author, essayist, cultural observer, and famed New Yorker contributor Adam Gopnik. His subject is winter - the season, the space, the cycle. Gopnik takes us on an intimate tour of the artists, poets, composers, writers, explorers, scientists, and thinkers, who helped shape a new and modern idea of winter. Listen to Winter: Five Windows on the Season Streaming files for this years lecture will be available until Friday, November 18. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Nov 14, 2011 - 11 comments

AskMLKFi

Do you lack self confidence? Not sure what you should do after high school? Having trouble finding a nice young man? Are your friends interested in nothing but scotch, girlie magazines and gin? Ask Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about it. He's got Advice for Living. [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow on Aug 29, 2011 - 28 comments

"Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it." — Emerson

‎"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." In the wake of bin Laden's killing, partially fabricated misquotations were circulated widely via Twitter and Facebook. [more inside]
posted by RogerB on May 3, 2011 - 247 comments

Ten OTHER things Martin Luther King said

What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. -MLK (SLYT)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 17, 2011 - 18 comments

The Giant Triplets of Racism, Materialism, and Militarism

At a Pentagon commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Defense Department general council Jeh C. Johnson argued King, a strident opponent of the Vietnam War and of militarism generally, would acknowledge a justification for US military actions around the world. Justin Elliot of Salon responds.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jan 14, 2011 - 31 comments

give up that dream

It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that's what we've forgotten. Give up that dream! Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Apr 24, 2010 - 51 comments

Dr. King: "...if I had sneezed, I would have died."

MLK Jr: The First Attempt : Nearly 10 years before he was assassinated, as Dr. King signed copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom, Izola Ware Curry, a part-time maid from Georgia, stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener, nearly puncturing his aorta. Though she was eventually indicted for attempted murder, Ms. Curry was found incompetent to stand trial and committed to Matteawan State Hospital for the criminally insane. Characteristically, Dr. King forgave her and requested that she be rehabilitated as a productive member of society. [more inside]
posted by Alison on Jan 18, 2010 - 7 comments

Civil Rights Superheroes

Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story: "People were told to read it, memorize it, and destroy it because if they were caught with it, they could be killed." The story of this influential comic book, which helped inspire the 1960 Woolworth's sit-in, is the subject of a new exhibition at Pittsburgh's Toonseum.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 18, 2010 - 8 comments

Martin Luther King was not a king but he was a great man

How do you explain the struggle for civil rights to a kindergartner? Pictures? Songs? Crafts? Puzzles? Construction paper in rainbow colors?
posted by twoleftfeet on Jan 17, 2010 - 24 comments

What the World Needs Now

What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love (Abraham, Martin and John) (direct mp3 link), via My Life, h4cK3D!.
posted by alms on Aug 29, 2009 - 10 comments

The Dream is Alive

Happy Birthday Dr. King. Today is Martin Luther King Day. He was born 80 years ago, on January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just thirty-nine years old. Tomorrow, more than four decades after Dr. King’s death, Barack Obama will take his oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States and the first African American president in US history. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr, King, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration ceremony. Obama accepted the Democratic party nomination on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, arguably his most famous address. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People"s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic US foreign policy and the Vietnam War. [more inside]
posted by caddis on Jan 19, 2009 - 30 comments

A Speech So Stirring It Converted Pat Buchanan

On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, Barack Obama accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party to be their Presidential candidate with a speech so well-crafted that Pat bloody Buchanan couldn't stop raving about it, and had to be cut off by his fellow broadcasters. It was an occasion so historic that McCain chose to release an ad congratulating his opponent.
posted by WCityMike on Aug 28, 2008 - 235 comments

1966 federal ban on racial discrimination in housing

The Meaning of Box 722. Letters to Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois in reaction to the 1966 civil rights bill, particularly the federal ban on racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing. At the time, Chicago was the most segregated city in the north, with boundaries enforced by mob violence. By Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland. When I started researching NIXONLAND I knew the congressional elections of 1966 would form a crucial part of the narrative. They'd never really been examined in-depth before, but by my reckoning they were the crucial hinge that formed the ideological alignment we live in now. Via Brad DeLong.
posted by russilwvong on Jun 5, 2008 - 15 comments

Yolanda King

Yolanda King, daughter of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., dies at 51
posted by BostonJake on May 16, 2007 - 27 comments

"People who don't look like us see us for the first time as we should be seen, as equals." When Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) wanted to leave Star Trek after the first season, she got a little nudge from a big fan.
posted by anotherpanacea on Mar 30, 2007 - 47 comments

Beyond Viet Nam - April 4, 1967

A year to the day before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered this speech at Riverside Church, New York City. In the last years of his life, King moved beyond anti-segregation activism to a broader indictment of American class structure and foreign policy. This is The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV.
posted by Mister_A on Jan 15, 2007 - 56 comments

"Kindly direct me to hell."

"That goddamn bitch Dorothy Parker...You won't believe what she's done." Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker were best friends forever until Ms. Parker pissed Ms. Hellman off by leaving her estate to Martin Luther King, Jr., instead of to Ms. Hellman. Which might explain why Ms. Parker's remains went missing. [more inside; via]
posted by kirkaracha on May 26, 2006 - 26 comments

"Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated." - Coretta Scott King.

""We only have to recall the colour of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi who are most devastated by Katrina to know that there are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans." - Former President Jimmy Carter.

Coretta Scott King was laid to rest Tuesday after a six-hour service attended by four presidents and 10,000 ordinary people who came to pay tribute to the first lady of the civil rights movement - and one of its last icons. But at an event designed to remember the lady who was as memorable as her late husband in fighting for civil rights, politics entered the fray with both former President Jimmy Carter and Rev Joseph Lowery taking swipes at the Bush Administration. They say that there's a time and a place, and while this was clearly not the place, with thousands of Katrina victims (mostly African-American) about to be evicted because of budget cuts by the Bush administration, was it the time?
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 8, 2006 - 149 comments

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

Why we have a Martin Luther King Day. What an amazing speech. [Coral cache][via]
posted by Malor on Jan 15, 2006 - 48 comments

Florida town changes MLK street name

Florida town changes MLK street name What's in a name, asked Shakespeare. Everything, it seems.
posted by Postroad on May 11, 2004 - 41 comments

"I ain’t gon' study war, no more!"

"In Memory of Martin Luther King" [Flash.] The words are excerpted from King's 1967 speech, "Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam."
posted by homunculus on Jan 19, 2004 - 10 comments

March on Washington

March on Washington Anniversary of historic march. Has Dr. King's dream been advanced? I "imagine" kids are still dreaming...
posted by aiq on Aug 23, 2003 - 7 comments

MLK, 25 years on, and beyond the politics of race

"At the heart of their concerns, this query has often loomed large and loud: 'Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent?' 'Peace and civil rights don’t mix', they say. 'Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people', they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling."
posted by riviera on Apr 4, 2003 - 9 comments

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's Birthday

In his own words ... On this holiday celebrating the achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his words continue to have meaning for both blacks and whites, conservatives and liberals. Most people are familiar with his I Have a Dream Speech but also noteworthy are The Purpose of Education, The Negro and the Constitution, his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, his Letter from Birmingham Jail -- which some have argued should be added to the canon of Scripture -- and his final I See the Promised Land remarks delivered the day before his death.
posted by marcusb on Jan 20, 2003 - 3 comments

promised land

I See the Promised Land "Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord"---MLKing Jr.
posted by JohnR on Dec 25, 2002 - 4 comments

Thank Mahalia Jackson for King's "I have a dream."

Thank Mahalia Jackson for King's "I have a dream." "On August 28, 1963, under a nearly cloudless sky, more than 250,000 people, a fifth of them white, gathered near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to rally for 'jobs and freedom.'... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had originally prepared a short and somewhat formal recitation of the sufferings of African Americans attempting to realize their freedom in a society chained by discrimination. He was about to sit down when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson called out, 'Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!' Encouraged by shouts from the audience, King drew upon some of his past talks, and the result became the landmark statement of civil rights in America--a dream of all people, of all races and colors and backgrounds, sharing in an America marked by freedom and democracy."
posted by Carol Anne on Jan 21, 2002 - 16 comments

Happy MLK Day.

Happy MLK Day.
posted by Ty Webb on Jan 21, 2002 - 35 comments

2 students shot in MLK Jr. HS yesterday.

2 students shot in MLK Jr. HS yesterday. "A gunman sneaked into Martin Luther King Jr. HS yesterday through a side door - evading 14 safety agents, two cops and metal-detectors - and shot and seriously wounded two boys headed to class, officials said. "

"The fact that the shooting occurred on King’s birthday was a "cruel irony," said [Manhattan Board of Education member Irving ] Hamer. King and the school stand for non-violence, he said, and "instead, we get a shooting."
posted by bkdelong on Jan 16, 2002 - 13 comments

"Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive"
posted by stbalbach on Jan 16, 2002 - 26 comments

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King day, I went out looking for interesting stuff about him on the web. I found a nice summary site at the Seattle Times, a page of quotes, a page of photos from Life Magazine, some wav files of his speech at the march on Washington (a bit of video too), and a look at the controversies surrounding his assasination.
posted by mathowie on Jan 17, 2000 - 0 comments

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