By Jonathan Rieder
“You don’t be aware of me,” Martin Luther King, Jr., as soon as declared to those that criticized his denunciation of the Vietnam battle, who desired to confine him to the ghetto of “black” concerns. Now, 40 years after being felled via an assassin’s bullet, it's nonetheless tough to take the degree of the guy: apostle of peace or indignant prophet; chic exponent of a loved neighborhood or fiery Moses best his humans up from bondage; black preacher or translator of blackness to the white global?
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Additional resources for The Word of the Lord Is Upon Me: The Righteous Performance of Martin Luther King, Jr.
I shouldn’t feel any different,” he said about black militant groups threatening his life as opposed to threats from whites, but the truth was irrepressible: “I do feel differently . . I am really annoyed at myself. ” Peter Goldman asks in his fine book on Malcolm X. ” Usually, King’s grace, Christian faith, and propensity for saving face restrained his rude and bitter feelings, but they still leaked out occasionally. After President Kennedy was assassinated, “Jacqueline Kennedy knelt prayerfully with her children against the late President’s coffin.
At the same time, King’s references to “our white brothers who have not yet been redeemed” conferred virtue on the black people who embodied redemptive love, just as he elevated blacks when he urged them not to let white barbarians pull them down to their level. ” The boast that blacks could “heal our sick white brothers” not only named and nailed white people for their sinfulness but also reversed the standard terms of white normality and black deficiency. So did King’s diagnosis, in mass meetings and sermons alike, that racist whites were in thrall to demonic fears, self-delusion, and guilt.
3 22 The Geometry of Belonging King did not know “they” were about to slap him down on the trip back to Atlanta. L. resisted at first, but his teacher finally encouraged him to get up and the young man had to stand for several hours as the bus made its way to Atlanta. ’”4 King proclaimed his hatred for all white people, a feeling that lingered for years. Such encounters offered certain compensations, providing a fund of experiences that King could draw on to forge racial communion. The hurt they left could help take a bit of the aura off the exalted Mosaic leader, revealing King as a black everyman who had suffered as all members of his race did.