“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a 'more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr. | Letter from Birmingham Jail 

14 MLK Quotes You’ll Never Learn in School

1. “I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic… [Capitalism] started out with a noble and high motive… but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today capitalism has out-lived its usefulness.”Letter to Coretta Scott, July 18, 1952.

2. “Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.” – Speech to the Negro American Labor Council, 1961.

3. “We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power… this means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order.”- Report to SCLC Staff, May 1967.

4. “The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.” –Speech to SCLC Board, March 30, 1967.

5. “I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective – the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed matter: the guaranteed income… The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” –Where do We Go from Here? 1967.

6. “[W]e are saying that something is wrong … with capitalism…. There must be better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.” – Speech to his staff, 1966.

7. “If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell.Speech at Bishop Charles Mason Temple of the Church of God in Christ in support of the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike on March 18th, 1968, two weeks before he was assassinated.

8. “I have always been deeply interested in and sympathetic with the total work of the Planned Parenthood Federation” -1960

9. “Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race.Why We Can’t Wait

10. “But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?…It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.” -The Other America, 1968

11. “Again we have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that Capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard word and sacrifice. The fact is that Capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor – both black and white, both here and abroad. -The Three Evils of Society, 1967

12. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.Beyond Vietnam, 1967

13. “Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn. The reality of substantial investment to assist Negroes into the twentieth century, adjusting to Negro neighbors and genuine school integration, is still a nightmare for all too many white Americans…These are the deepest causes for contemporary abrasions between the races. Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.Where Do We Go From Here? 1967

14. “First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1967

Via Spirituality for Justice

theroot.com
Playwright Reacts to the White Casting of MLK in  The Mountaintop
Katori Hall compares the casting of a white actor as Martin Luther King Jr. in a production of her play to the erasure of black bodies on the streets of America.
By Katori Hall

Hello, you’ve reached The Ministry of Terrible Ideas.  Thank you for holding.  We are experiencing a high call volume at this time due to a college theatre department casting a white dude to play Martin Luther King.

Five Little-Known Facts About Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo: Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Edie Brown Eisenberg 1968. Permission required for use.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an extraordinary man of many talents and has left behind an enormous legacy. Below you will find five little-known facts about the life and work of King.

1. Martin Luther King, Jr. was actually named Michael when he was born. 

In 1934, his father traveled to Germany and was inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader, Martin Luther. Upon his return, Martin Luther King, Sr. changed his and his five-year-old son’s names.

2. King was an extraordinary student. 

He skipped two grades and entered college at the age of 15. He was admitted to Morehouse College in 1944 and graduated in 1948 with a BA in Sociology. The Morehouse president, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, became an inspirational figure in King’s life. King continued his education at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. There he was elected student body president and graduated valedictorian of his class in 1951. He enrolled in Boston University’s doctoral program and was awarded his Ph.D. at the age of 25. While in Boston, King met Coretta Scott and became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Photo: Martin Luther King Jr. is Arrested for Loitering Outside of a Courtroom Where his Friend Ralph Abernathy is Appearing for a Trial, Montgomery, Alabama Source: Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

3. Although King stood firm in his beliefs toward a nonviolent movement, he was still arrested nearly 30 times. 

His charges (often times dramatized) ranged from civil disobedience to traffic violations. See more on his arrests here

4. King survived an assassination attempt a decade before his death. 

On September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem for a book signing. People lined up at Blumstein’s department store to have their copies of Stride Toward Freedom signed. A young woman named Izola Ware Curry approached Dr. King and asked him if he was really Martin Luther King Jr. After he replied “yes,” she thrust a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. Curry claims she had been after him for five years. The stab wound just missed his heart and King underwent hours of emergency surgery. The doctors told him that if he had so much as sneezed, he would not have survived. During recovery, King issued a statement affirming his nonviolent beliefs and stated he had no malice feelings towards his attacker. It was later found that Curry was mentally ill and King decided to not press charges against her.

5. After his death, the King family filed a civil case against the US government and won. 

On December 8, 1999, twelve jurors reached a unanimous decision that King’s death was a result of a conspiracy. The trial took place in Memphis, TN, and included four weeks of testimony and over 70 witnesses. The jury was convinced by the evidence and reached a verdict after only an hour of deliberation. Overwhelming evidence showed James Earl Ray was not the actual shooter but was set up to take the blame. After the evidence showed Ray did not pull the trigger, local, state and federal U.S government agencies, and the Mafia were to blame. 

The King family was awarded $100, which they donated to charity. To them, it was never about the money; they just wanted the truth out, and for justice to be served. Established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) has been a global destination, resource center and community institution for over a quarter century. Visit their site http://thekingcenter.org for more information.

By Shannon C., Social Media Volunteer, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.