Read The Words of Martin Luther King, JR. by Coretta Scott King Free Online
Book Title: The Words of Martin Luther King, JR.|
Date of issue: January 1st 1987
ISBN 13: 9780937858790
The author of the book: Coretta Scott King
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.48 MB
Edition: Newmarket Press
Read full description of the books The Words of Martin Luther King, JR.:Ain't gonna let nobody turn us around. I've been reading a lot about Civil Rights lately, and since MLK is one of its main players, I thought I'd get to know the man a little better. Coincidentally, I saw this selection of his speeches, sermons, and writings, and so I had to grab it. This book features an amazing introduction by Coretta Scott King in which she talks about her husband's achievements and impact; it also includes a couple of photographs and a detailed chronology.
Overall, I am very happy with this selection because not only does it display a lot of memorable quotes, it also gave me the wished insight into Martin's mind.
Coretta met Martin in Boston in 1952, when he was 23 years old. She had grown up in rural Alabama, attended Antioch College in Ohio, and was studying music at the New England Conservatory. Martin was working toward a doctor of philosophy degree at Boston University. Martin felt a deeply serious call to the ministry when he was a 17-year-old junior at Morehouse. One year later, he was ordained and made an assistant pastor at Ebenezer Church. Coretta thought she did not want to marry a minister, but "Martin was an unusual person. [...] If he ever did something a little wrong, or committed a selfish act, his conscience devoured him. At the same time he was so alive and so much fun to be with."
Martin always had a deep commitment to helping his fellow human beings. He told Coretta that the turning point in his thinking about how to reconcile Christian pacifism with getting things done came while he was at the seminary, when he learned about the reverend Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi. This origin of the Nonviolence movement always fascinated me. Unfortunately, I don't know a lot about Gandhi and his politics, but the fact that he has left such an impact on the black liberation movement in the United States of America fascinates me.
I also appreciated the insight that Coretta gave into the daily lives of black people back in the day. I think we're all familiar with segregated buses, but did you know that blacks had to pay their fares at the front of the bus, get off and walk to the rear to reboard through the back door. Drivers often pulled off and left them after they had paid their fares. These little pieces of information are extremely important to me, they help me flesh out the picture that I have of the time.
Coretta also talks about the never-ending death threats that her husband received, and how multiple times bombs exploded at their front porch. The King's bravery and persistence is admirable!
Another piece of information that is very dear to me is the fact that Martin divided the $54,000 prize (that he got for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize) among SCLC, CORE, SNCC, NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, and the American Foundation of Nonviolence. From reading the March Trilogy by John Lewis, I knew that there was a lot of tension between MLK and SNCC, because the students thought that Martin (alongside his foundation SCLC) were reaping the fruits of the student's hard labour, and that Martin then shared the prize money with them (maybe as a concilatory gesture?) is very interesting to me.
Another thought-provoking impulse that Coretta gave me, was the fact that Martin often spoke up against the Vietnam war: "It is worthless to talk about integration if there is no world to integrate. The war in Vietnam must be stopped." Sadly, I didn't learn about the Vietnam War in school, but it's definitely a gap in education that I want to close, especially because the Vietnam War was such a relevant topic for the black community back in the day (Why fight for a country that isn't fighting for you?).
Due to the fact that the majority of this book is made up of quotes by MLK, here's a selection of my favorites:My mother tried to explain the divided system of the South as a social condition rather than a natural order. Then she said the words that almost every Negro hears before he can yet understand the injustice that makes them necessary: 'You are as good as everyone.'
The straitjackets of race prejudice and discrimination do not wear only Southern labels. The subtle, psychological technique of the North has approached in its ugliness and victimization of the Negro the outright terror and open brutality of the South.
We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing to vote for.
To develop a sense of black consciousness and peoplehood does not require that we scorn the white race as a whole. It is not the race per se that we fight but the policies and ideology that leaders of that race have formulated to perpetuate oppression.
I think the greatest victory of this period was... something internal. The real victory was what this period did to the psyche of the black man. The greatness of this period was that we armed ourselves with dignity and self-respect. The greatness of this period was that we straightened our backs up. And a man can't ride your back unless it's bent.
(on nonviolence) The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.
I also highly enjoyed the times in which Martin spoke about the American Revolution, and how the Boston Tea Party was the biggest outburst of massive civil disobedience, and that this act is celebrated, but when black men and women speak up, they are treated like criminals. He also helped my understanding of Thomas Jefferson: "It is one thing to agree that the goal of integration is morally and legally right; it is another thing to commit oneself positively and actively to the ideal of integration - the former is intellectual assent, the latter is actual belief." And that, honestly, sums up Jefferson in a nutshell - a man who said that all men are created equal, but in the same breath owned hundreds of slaves.
I also understood the motifs behind the nonviolent practices a lot better. It wasn't simply the fact that you should find the love for your attacker, no, there was also a pragmatic side to it: "In a violent racial situation, the power structure has the local police, the state troopers, the national guard, and finally the army to call on, all of which are predominantly white." So, part of the reason why MLK was against an aggressive response toward the white mob was that black people simply couldn't win that fight. They would be jailed, and in most cases put on death row. So it was clear to him that they needed to come up with a smarter form of resistance: "The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat." (This was also very reminsicent of Ken Kesey's critique of social systems in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.)
And then when I got to the end of this little book, which displayed MLK's last speech I've Been to the Mountain Top and then Raegan's speech proclaiming the third Monday in January of each year as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I cried. And cried. And cried some more. Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almight, we are free at last!
Read information about the authorCoretta Scott King (1927-2006) was the wife of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. She gained an international reputation as an advocate of civil rights, nonviolence, international peace, full employment, and equal rights for women.
For more information, please see http://www.answers.com/topic/coretta-...
Add a comment to The Words of Martin Luther King, JR.
Read EBOOK The Words of Martin Luther King, JR. by Coretta Scott King Online free