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Today We Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we celebrate and review the courageous work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But let’s keep it real. While King’s legacy has largely been sanitized over the years–in his day, King’s message of equality, justice and peace was vigorously resisted by the status quo. (It still is.)

The King assassination is surrounded by mystery. James Earl Ray pleaded guilty of King’s murder, and provided no testimony during his trial. However, Ray later recanted his confession. Was King’s death the result of a plot? Subsequent investigations were unable to confirm that a conspiracy was involved. Not everyone is convinced.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last speech, commonly entitled “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” He was assassinated the next day.

Further Reading on Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy

You may be interested to read further about the man we celebrate today…

The Controversial History of Martin Luther King Day | National Geographic

“‘The important thing to remember is that [King’s] reputation, generally, in the country, has changed,” says Lois Horton, professor emeritus of history at George Mason University. “The FBI had carried on quite a campaign to smear him and to discredit everything he was doing for his whole career.'” ~ Becky Little

5 Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr. to Apply to Trump’s America | The Huffington Post

“As Trump’s inauguration looms closer and closer, landing just… after we celebrate Dr. King, what we should actually take away from his legacy are not the sanitized platitudes about “peace and equality,” but the burning fire for change and most of all action that made Dr. King the great leader that he was.” ~ Zeba Blay

The Secularization of Martin Luther King Jr. | LifeZette

“Not everyone agreed with King’s Christian approach. A young African-American Muslim named Malcolm X had a very different vision. A brilliant public speaker, Malcolm was a member of the Nation of Islam. He believed King’s talk of love and mercy was weak, and often accused King of being an Uncle Tom.” ~ Lee Habeeb

Vietnam Speech May Have Helped Put Target on Martin Luther King’s Back | Detroit Free Press

“Exactly one year before his assassination, on April 4, 1967, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave a speech that may have helped put a target on his back. That speech, entitled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break The Silence,” was an unequivocal denunciation of America’s involvement in that Southeast Asian conflict.” ~ Afi-Odelia Scruggs



About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends--with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. usfman

    In this speech, King complains about “Socialism for the rich. Capitalism for the poor.” Why does that line resonate with me today?

  2. katmicari

    The 1999 civil suit regarding the mystery around his death is interesting to look into.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Thanks for the reference, Kat!

  3. Rosaliene Bacchus

    “Only when it’s dark enough can we see the stars.”
    ~ Dark days all over this land are yet to come.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      It certainly seems that way, but many are fighting the good fight. King would not have us give up hope.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Thanks for the King videos. Most relevant. I’m listening to them now.

  4. dancingpalmtrees

    Personally I think that if both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had lived longer that they would have gotten together united forces becoming even more powerful. Both probably had more in common than most of us think. I am listening to Dr. King’s speech’s and he makes some pretty radical and revolutionary comments that are not in line with being an “Uncle Tom.”

    Just my Two Cents.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      That’s an interesting viewpoint, and I bet you’re right.

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