By Martin Luther King, Jr.: We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse. Sigmund Freud used to contend that sex was the dominant impulse, and Adler came with a new argument saying that this quest for recognition, this desire for attention, this desire for distinction is the basic impulse, the basic drive of human life, this drum major instinct.
“It is our common tragedy that we have lost [Martin Luther King, Jr.’s] prophetic voice but it would compound the tragedy if the lessons he did articulate are now ignored.” So wrote Coretta Scott King in the forward of Dr. King’s final book Where Do We Go from Here, his analysis of American race relations and the state of the movement after a decade of civil rights efforts. Each year, we honor his life and his legacy on his birthday. 2018 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death—a time for us to take account of our troubled times and truly pay attention to the message of his lessons.
By Jeanne Theoharis: While Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks are typically associated with the South, both spent a great deal of their lives challenging the racism of the Jim Crow North. Yet this part of their history is repeatedly ignored. Parks described the Detroit she moved to in 1957 as the "Northern promised land that wasn't" and spent the next four decades challenging the segregation and inequality endemic to the city.
By Isaac Newton Farris, Jr.The world knew him formally as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. Many knew him affectionately as “Daddy King.” I knew him simply as “granddaddy,” but all who were acquainted with his presence respected this influential man of God. As new generations of Americans become familiar with the life of my grandfather, they will better appreciate how my uncle, his son, Martin Luther King, Jr., evolved into one of the most influential leaders of the twentieth century. In fact throughout my uncle’s life, my grandfather played a key role in allowing my uncle to retain the financial and political independence necessary for him to be at all times an uncompromised public servant.
By Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jeanne TheoharisThis is the second entry of our Montgomery Bus Boycott Turns 60 Series. About two months into the Montgomery Bus Boycott, times start to become dangerous for Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family. Death threats over the phone are coming in daily to King’s home, most of which Coretta Scott King answers. Aware of his role as a leader, Dr. King turns to his faith for strength and resolve in the face of danger. Sixty years ago today, the danger arrives on his porch in the form of a bomb. This excerpt from Stride Toward Freedom brings us close to the reality of fear Dr. King lived with, and the resilience of the King family.
By Cornel West: The FBI transcript of a June 27, 1964, phone conversation reveals Malcolm X receiving a message from Martin Luther King, Jr. This message supported the idea of getting the human rights declaration of the United Nations to expose the unfair, vicious treatment of black people in America. Malcolm X replied that he was eager to meet Martin Luther King, Jr.—as soon as the next afternoon. If they had met that day and worked together, the radical King would be well known.
Tension and conflict are not alien nor abnormal to growth but are the natural results of the process of changes. A revolution is occurring in both the social order and the human mind.
Michael K. Honey, a lifelong follower of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on how following the way of Dr. King has led him to a better, more meaningful and engaged life. Honey is the editor of "All Labor Has Dignity", a collection of King's speeches on Labor.
On the 50th anniversary of its publication, Dr. King’s 'Why We Can't Wait' reminds the world why we must continue to struggle toward a nation of peace and social justice.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we've put together a list of essential books that we hope will inspire future generations to come together for progressive social change.
The last speech that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered was passionate, tragically prophetic, and reflected his deep commitment to helping the working poor.
These two prayers from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "show that powerful words can outlive powerful individuals.”
In the fall of 2011, staff from Beacon Press, Random House, and the literary representative for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Estate brought together a blue-ribbon panel of educators, including teachers, librarians, and administrators to discuss how to better teach Dr. King in 21st century classrooms. The result from that meeting is 'A Time to Break Silence,' the first book in a new education series aimed to bring the essential works of Dr. King to a new generation of students.
More than a half century later, the Montgomery Bus Boycott still resonates as a powerful example of nonviolent resistance.
Lewis V. Baldwin calls for us to remember King's global vision.
At today's Inauguration, President Obama will be using the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's bible. The symbolism of the president's choice is striking. King was of course profoundly religious, although this is sometimes lost in our thinking of him as...
A new book looks at Martin Luther King's vision for peace and justice worldwide.
Lewis Baldwin reflects upon how studying Martin Luther King, Jr.'s prayers provides guidance and illuminates King's teachings.
MLK's prayers provide a window into his practice of nonviolence.
We continue our Black History Month series by looking at Beacon's books covering the Civil Rights Era, in particular the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.