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Martin Luther King Jr.



  • What Makes Laws Unjust?

    by Randall L. Kennedy

    In Dr. King's time, appraisals of his civil disobedience tactics hinged on how one defined an unjust law, an obstacle that inevitably confronts protest movements in polarized societies.



  • Americans Misunderstand the Radical Vision of even the Young MLK

    by Victoria W. Wolcott

    Long before the escalation of the war in Vietnam, urban unrest and national battles for fair housing that animated King's late work, he expressed a vision of justice that demanded systemic transformation of American society. His wife Coretta was a profound influence. 



  • Annette Gordon-Reed: Don't Accept "Cuddly" King Image

    The late leader's opposition to militarism, economic injustice, and white supremacy, which sustained a broad critique of capitalist society, have been sanitized and reduced to platitudes by people who would prefer not to recognize the equality of all people, the historian told the annual MLK Memorial Breakfast. 



  • MLK's History Lessons

    by Jelani Cobb

    Martin Luther King's use of American history to inform his developing demands for political and economic justice would run afoul fo legislation being passed by a growing number of states to restrict teaching about racism and inequality in the nation's past. 



  • "A Minority of Misguided Senators": MLK on the Filibuster

    “I think the tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting. They won’t let the majority senators vote."



  • What "Structural Racism" Means

    by Jamelle Bouie

    The writings of Oliver Cromwell Cox challenged the midcentury liberal conception of racism as a caste problem by linking it to capitalist exploitation and material inequality. He profoundly influenced Martin Luther King Jr.'s social critique and offers a way out of the dead end of "wokeness" and "identity politics."



  • Misappropriating MLK in the Critical Race Theory Debate

    by Tyler D. Parry

    Selective readings of Martin Luther King's writing and speeches swap his radical critiques of capitalism, militarism and inequality for bland colorblindness. The fact is that "CRT" is deeply rooted in King's work, which was unpopular among white Americans in his own time. 



  • Martin Luther King Knew: Fighting Racism Meant Fighting Police Brutality

    by Jeanne Theoharis

    Despite contemporary efforts to portray contemporary movements like Black Lives Matter and radical groups like the Black Panther Party as deviators from the "respectable" movement led by MLK, the SCLC leader insisted on the need to combat police brutality despite the unpopularity of that position,