Martin Luther King Jr.
By Eli Dukes
He was motivated by his deep Christian faith and was thrust into the spotlight by the NAACP and the bus boycott. He never craved the attention only the results.
MLK was a spectacular speaker. He used sermons to motivate both white and black alike and speeches to demand political change. He was a master of rhetorical strategies. He also suffered with the protesters and spent countless nights in jail. He considered some laws just and others unjust and would stop at nothing to peacefully disobey unjust laws.
He suffered bombings, threats on his family, and eventually he brought about by his persistence, his assassination.
MLK would have been against mass incarceration disproportionate to demographics that plagues the United States today. He would have fought against police brutality and considered the countless black lives lost a tragedy.
Time Period's Influence on MLK
He had a loving family and a deeply religious community which he points to the reason for his early acceptance of the love of God.
Growing up under Jim Crow, his mother made it clear that he was "to never feel inferior" (King 4). He had a deep resentment to systemic injustice. Once in a shoe store, he and his father were told to wait in the back. His father marched him out and King Jr. learned to resist injustice. King saw police brutality , the KKK, and economic injustice.
One summer in Connecticut, King saw the opportunities available in the North and could not understand why it was so much different in the South.
In college, King read Henry David Thoreau's essay "On Civil Disobedience" and became convinced that "noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good" (King 14).
At Crozer Seminary in Chester, PA, King analyzed The Communist Manifesto and rejected Communism based on its secularistic history, political dictatorships, and relativistic truth but saw benefits such as helping the poor and disapproval for profit at the expense of lives that capitalism did not offer.
King studied Gandhi and loved his theory on non-violent resistance.
MLK in the New Millenium
If I had MLK's talents, I would dedicate myself to fighting police brutality and mass incarceration disproportionate to demographics. I'd fight for inner city education and unemployment to drop. I'd spend my time demanding, protesting, and advocating for African Americans and other minorities to enjoy the same right to live as the white man does.
In "Remembering Martin Luther King as a Man, Not a Saint". Hampton Sides argues that the humanity of Martin Luther King needs to be expressed. He argues that the image of Martin Luther King disheveled and overweight, arguing against the Vietnam War, losing friends in the White House, and losing his marriage need to be brought to light not to defame him but to show that greatness can be found in anyone. He argues that imperfect heroes are necessary so we can fully appreciate them. The "moral ambiguity" of King points to both the sinner and saint within everyone. Sides argues that the reason we need the imperfect King and not the saintly man is because within every human is the potential for great things mixed with the messy things.
Michelle Alexander wrote The New Jim Crow, an expose of mass incarceration in the United States. An NAACP lawyer, Alexander is a voice for the voiceless- much like MLK.
Kendrick draws deeply from his Christian values and his inspiration, Martin Luther King. Lamar has spoken up not only about the need to end police brutality, but the need for violence in the black community to cease.
A continuation of MLK's ideals, protesters seek the end of police brutality.
Jones, Clarence B. "Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on His 86th Birthday." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 15 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
King, Martin L., and Clayborne Carson. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Intellectual Properties Management, 2001. Print.
Sides, Hampton. "Remembering Martin Luther King as a Man, Not a Saint." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 3 Apr. 2011. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
"Martin Luther King Jr. - Biography". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 23 Apr 2015. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html>