The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)

Hartford Web Publishing is not the author of the documents in World History Archives and does not presume to validate their accuracy or authenticity nor to release their copyright.

Martin Luther King, Man of History
Martin Luther King, Man of History, 11 January 1995. Relation of individual personality and historic circumstance.
Martin Luther King—A Different Drum Major
By Paul Rosenberg, 13 January 1995. For King what was important was not just individual character, but objective social justice.
The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV
By Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon, 14 January 1995. As King matured to broaden his concern to include economic justice for all people, not just civil rights for Blacks, the media became deaf to his message.
Martin Luther King's Greatest Legacy: The Challenge to Become a Revolutionary for Justice
By Abdul Alkalimat, in The People's Tribune, 4 January 1996. He is remembered because he represented a mass social movement that was developing a revolutionary vision, for Black people, for all American people, for the world.
Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—‘We must get on the side of revolution’
By Tim Wheeler, People's Weekly World, 18 January 1997. King's Riverside Church speech denouncing the Vietnam War was a powerful blow against Cold War anti-communism. Discusses King's close relation with communists.
Workfare and Dr. King
Editorial from Workers World, 23 January 1997. King constantly developed and he finally came out strongly against the Vietnam War. He also began to realize the importance of class strugle, and his project for 1968 was a Poor People's March, and on the day of his murder in April 1968 he was supporting striking Memphis sanitation workers.
Martin Luther King Day celebration statement
By Sundiata Acoli, 15 January 1999. MLK said, I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say in reality. The unadulterated truth is that the only solution to the problems we're faced with today is to change the structure of the system we live under or break away to form our own independent nation(s).
Don't Let them steal King's Day
Workers World Editorial, 21 January 1999. To associate Martin Luther King Jr. with a predatory war against an oppressed people—a people of color, too—is not only an injury to his memory, it is an insult to everyone who respects his contribution to the struggle for civil rights.
King Holiday a launch pad for the revolutionaries
By the Council of Conservative Citizens, 21 January 1999. A revealing excerpt from a smear-job on Martin Luther King by the Council of Conservative Citizens. Reflects a conservative fear of any change that might threaten the advantages of the ruling class.
Martin Luther King's Radical Legacy
By John C. McMillian, In These Times, 10 February 1999. The annual King commemoration promotes a shallow understanding of his true intellectual legacy, leading to a misconstrued image of King.
Dr. King's Forgotten Speech on Peace
By Paul Rockwell, Oakland, California, In Motion Magazine, [4 May 1999]. King's Riverside Church speech is relevant to today' economic and moral crisis. The media called it demagogic slander, a script for Radio Hanoi. The Riverside address was recorded and filmed for posterity, but it is rarely quoted or mentioned in today's post civil-rights media.
Dr. King Was Not a Dreamer
By Paul Rockwell, In Motion Magazine, 10 May 1999. The words I have a dream are often parrotted out of context, but King was not a dreamer, but a visionary specializing in applied ethics. In his speech, Dr. King confronted the poverty, injustice, and nightmare conditions of American cities. His speech was a call to action.
Why I Vote For King As Person of the Century
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, 7 July 1999. The editors of Time probably swallow one of the huge myths of history. They, like much of the public, narrowly label King a black leader, a civil rights leader, or say that he simply imitated Gandhi. King's moral vision and reach extended far beyond the questions of war, and peace and racial injustice. He also saw that true democracy could never be realized without economic justice for the poor.
Which King do we memorialize?
Commentary by Colman McCarthy, The Baltimore Sun, [Monday 17 January 2000]. The King memorial will include chiseled excerpts from his speeches and writings. But which words will be chosen? Which King will the memorial's visitors encounter? Since King's death in 1968, his memory has been monopolized by those who see him only as a civil rights leader.
No Small Dreams
By Michael Eric Dyson, special to, 17 January 2000. King's skepticism about the earlier methods of social change that he advocated. For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of the society. Now I feel quite differently. I think you've got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values. King also argued that most Americans are unconscious racists.
If only we would heed King's message
By Mark Weisbrot, The Boston Globe, 17 January 2000. If the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, he would surely marvel that America could gaze upon the vistas of a new millennium with no vision of ending poverty in the world's richest nation.
Dreams, nightmares and reality
By Sean Gonsalves, Cape Cod Times, 18 January 2000. The dumbing down of America; a sugar-coated, superficial view of the life and legacy of arguably the greatest American apostle of non-violence disregards that Christian faith and social justice are inextricably linked.
Remaking King
By Mumia Abu-Jamal, 8 February 2000. Political conservatives have appropriated the name, image, and selected texts of the late Dr. King to further their right-wing, white supremacist agenda. But King was someone deeply concerned about economic and social justice, as well as American militarism. It's easy for us, the living, to forge Dr. King into an icon; it's safe. It's much harder to do the work that Dr. King would be doing today.
A Time to Break the Silence on Dr. King's Final Mission and Message: A Conspectus on Drs. King, Du Bois, and West
By John H. McClendon III, January 2001. Dr. King's legacy, the meaning of his message and the manner of his mission, at this very moment in history, constitutes an ideological battleground between those forces intent on fashioning an image of King as a moralist, anchored to liberal pacifism, and those who recognize that his death did not result from liberal pacifism or the fact he dreamed of racial harmony in this country.
MLK and the labor movement
By Dick Meister, San Francisco Examiner, 21 February 2003. The strikers had won dignity, equity and access to power and responsibility. Those clearly were the lifelong goals of Martin Luther King Jr., whether he was seeking civil rights for African Americans or labor rights for all Americans, black and white alike.
When the saints go marching out
By Arundhati Roy, The Hindu, 31 August 2003. How the elites of the very societies and peoples in whose name the battles for freedom were waged use Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. as mascots to entice new masters.
Echos of King's dream ring true in Chile
By Ariel Dorfman, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday 16 January 2005. The Chilean resistance embraced a different route: to slowly, resolutely, dangerously, take over the surface of the country, isolate the dictatorship inside and outside our nation, make Chile ungovernable through civil disobedience. Not entirely different from the strategy that the civil rights movement had espoused in the United States.
Heirs will bury King legacy
Opinion by Cynthia Tucker,, 4 January 2006. Following an initial burst of reasonableness, last week two King siblings—Martin L. King III and his sister, Bernice—announced that they would fight any plans to sell.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Democratic Socialist
By Paul Street, ZNet, 14 January 2006. King was rather unimpressed by his movement's mid-1960s triumphs over southern racism, viewing the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts as relatively partial and merely bourgeois accomplishments that dangerously encouraged mainstream white America to think that the nation's racial problems were automatically solved.
The Prophet Reconsidered
By Christopher Phelps, Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol. 54 no. 19, Page B728, January 2008. 40 years after the death of Martin Luther King Jr., new studies emphasize his economic and social philosophy.