The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles’ Wednesday concert reflects on M.L. King Jr.’s times, struggle and sacrifice, with the orchestra’s musical setting of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
50 years after his death, Martin Luther King Jr.’s teaching on nonviolent direct action are as relevant as ever.
Ceremonies honoring the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began over the past weekend and culminate today. Below are three California cities that will feature extensive events.
Most Americans today know that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, but few know why he was there. King went to Memphis to support African American garbage workers, who were on strike to protest unsafe conditions, abusive white supervisors, and low wages — and to gain recognition for their union.
As we celebrate his birthday, it is easy to forget that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a democratic socialist. In 1964, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, he observed that the United States could learn much from Scandinavian “democratic socialism.” He often talked about the need to confront “class issues,” which he described […]
As this country hurtles into a New Year, I am grateful for the stop sign at Martin Luther King Jr.’s national holiday. It offers time for me to consider again the meaning of my life as well as to our national purpose. This year I am remembering that King’s life focused not only on civil […]
The first shot of What Happened, Miss Simone? shows a crowd applauding the appearance of a singer. After years of a self-imposed hiatus, Nina Simone walks onstage, and with one hand on a piano, bows. For a full 10 seconds. She then looks up and out at the rapturous audience. But she is not smiling. […]
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover tried to erase the name of Stanley Levison from civil rights history in the 1960s. Now historian Ben Kamin is putting Levison firmly back into the historic record with his new book, Dangerous Friendship: Stanley Levison, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Kennedy Brothers. Levison was a successful Jewish businessman […]
August 28th marked the 51st anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On that sweltering day in 1963, amidst an atmosphere of racial tension stoked by political indecisiveness, as well as acts of violent Southern resistance defined by bombings and bloody protests, 250,000 Americans converged on the National Mall. There, facing […]
Most students of the 1960s may know about the FBI’s obsessive surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. and how the bureau’s shadowing and bugging of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s president would lead federal agents to infiltrate the civil rights and peace movements. Now, a new book by Ben Kamin throws a spotlight on the […]
Most Americans today know that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was killed 46 years ago in Memphis, Tennessee. But fewer know why he was there. King went to Memphis to support African American garbage workers, who were on strike to protest unsafe conditions, abusive white supervisors, and low wages — and to gain recognition for […]
Last year, as we remembered the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we focused much of our attention on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. We reflected on the historical words that followed, “I have a dream” and reaffirmed our commitment to keeping the dream […]
“I’m not in despair, because I know that there is a moral order. I haven’t lost faith, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Out of 300 million Americans, a few thousand wield disproportionate economic and political influence because of their positions at the pinnacle of America’s corporate and media establishments or their roles as political allies (or puppets) of the corporate ruling class. C. Wright Mills described this group in his 1956 book, The Power Elite; G. William […]
Fifty years ago, just a year out of high school, I sat in my parents’ small living room engrossed by images on the flickering black and white TV screen. Something called the March on Washington was running live — the whole event, as I recall, which network television did in those days. I’m not sure […]
This week we mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Few would argue about the importance of Dr. King in U.S. history and the decisive role he played in the civil rights movement. Soon after his death, a campaign began to have King’s birthday declared […]
What would the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. march for if he were alive today? America has made progress on many fronts in the half-century since King electrified a crowd of 200,000 people, and millions of Americans watching on television, with his “I Have a Dream” address at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. But […]
Congressman John Lewis is the only survivor among the ten speakers at the March on Washington, a turning point in the civil rights movement that occurred 50 years ago, on August 28, 1963. The march is most famous as the setting of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” oration, but Lewis’ speech that […]
My friend, mentor and colleague, Rev. James Lawson, calls our economic system “plantation capitalism.” Lawson was the nonviolent strategist for Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement and the key figure in the desegregation of Nashville. His reference, of course, pulls forward the image of enslaved field workers in the Old South. The […]
August 28 of this year marks the 50th anniversary of the famous March on Washington. For many people, the march was simply the site where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. However, the full name of the march was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and it marked […]
As we settle further into Black History Month, it’s the perfect time to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr. and his often under-acknowledged passion for economic justice. King stands as a pillar of civil rights leadership and the movement for equal rights. His legacy is special to the black community, and as a symbol, he […]
In an action that already feels like ancient history, Congress voted earlier this month to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” While much remains to be settled, the revenue side of the issue got resolved because 84 House Republicans joined 172 Democrats to support the solution negotiated between the President and the Senate. In some ways, such […]
Forty-five years after his death, Martin Luther King’s vision of racial and economic progress continues to exert a powerful influence on our society. In this video, Marilyn, a young African-American electrician apprentice, reflects on MLK’s legacy and how construction work and access to a good career has radically improved her life. Construction gives Marilyn not […]
Today Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is viewed as something of an American saint. His birthday is a national holiday. His name adorns schools and street signs. Americans from across the political spectrum invoke King’s name to justify their beliefs and actions, as President Barack Obama will no doubt do in his second Inaugural speech […]