On the 40th anniversary of MLK’s assassination, four black scholars and activists discussed King’s legacy with Judy Woodruff on the NewsHour. King’s courage in articulating an unpopular political stand early in the Vietnam War and his everyday commitment to intractable issues of economic justice and world peace are less known than his more celebrated dramatic role in the civil rights movement. John McWhorter
Teachers looking to breathe energy into MLK’s connection to current social and economic issues will appreciate this video segment.
Here are abbreviated sample quotes from the four guests:
Clayborne Carson, Stanford University: “King … wrote in 1948 … his mission as a minister … was to deal with unemployment, slums, economic insecurity. … He didn’t even mention civil rights.”
Camille Charles, University of Pennsylvania “… he really is integral to American history. … we need to be celebrating him and taking his message seriously as Americans more broadly.”
Cory Booker, current Newark Mayor: “… my parents made me understand that the struggle for justice didn’t begin with King, nor did it end with King. It is a long … journey that has begun at the founding of our nation, … that my brother and I had to grow up to continue the legacy and continue the fight.”
, Manhattan Institute “It’s all the dramatic things that sit in the memory … [but] for me the most interesting part of King’s legacy is the painstaking, grinding negotiations with the powers that be … That stuff was really hard.”
There is no shortage of material on Martin Luther King, but the period between 1965 and 1968 is often overlooked.
Here is a detailed lesson plan from Stanford University featuring King’s 1967 Vietnam speech and link to the Vietnam speech audio and the Vietnam speech transcript
MSNBC -TV has a superb collection of 25 live MLK video clips, speeches, interviews, and TV appearances. These videos are high quality, powerful and worth waiting through the annoying initial ad.
Related lesson plans from NewsHour Extra include:
What Is the Role of Civil Disobedience Today and
I Have a Dream Speech as a Work of Literature