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April 4th Is the Anniversary of King’s “Beyond Vietnam” Speech

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his controversial “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in Harlem on April 4th, 1967, 50 years ago today. There was an immediate upheaval. The day after the speech, “an estimated 168 newspapers attacked King.” The NAACP failed to support him. A year later he was assassinated.

The concepts of oppression, poverty, and militarism that King spoke about 50 years ago, are just as relevant and troubling today…

Martin Luther King’s Revolution | Jacobin

50 years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr defied his advisers and declared his opposition to the Vietnam War. Liberal supporters immediately abandoned him.

“… King worried out loud about the fate of American troops forced to participate in this corrupt enterprise. ‘Before long, they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese,’ King said, ‘and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.’ King called for an immediate end to the bombing, the removal of American troops, and — to thunderous applause — support and encouragement for conscientious objectors in the United States…” ~ Brian Jones

Be aware. Be fair.


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. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Speaking truth to power comes with great risks.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Yes. It’s much easier to scapegoat someone without power. MLK never took the easy way out.

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