We know that many of you will participate in commemorations of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day on Monday, January 21. With historical amnesia, it’s possible to simply be unaware that in his lifetime, Dr. King was seen as a disturber of the peace. It’s too easy to collapse his legacy into a watered down appeal to love each other. Dr. King and the Black Freedom Movement did believe in love, and they wielded that love in powerful campaigns advocating specific and controversial goals. Those goals escalated from the 1955-56 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, to the 1967-68 Poor People’s Campaign, during which King was assassinated.
Honoring Dr. King today means joining and supporting the kinds of movements today that he organized and invested in 50 years ago. Just a partial listing would include the Movement for Black Lives/Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15, the struggle against racism and injustice in immigration policy, and the fight to protect our planet’s wellbeing.
Whatever else you do on MLK Day 2019, we’d like to invite you to join On Earth Peace in setting aside time to study Dr. King’s writings, to gird yourself for the road ahead. Will you take 15 minutes, or two hours, to invest in your own leadership, and nourish your spirit? Here are three places to start. If you want more, contact Matt at Kingian@OnEarthPeace.org.
“Loving Your Enemies”- 1957 sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
“When Peace Becomes Obnoxious” - 1956 sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
“Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence” - 1967 speech in which King connects the dots between racism in the US and global militarism