Free read The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr
Using Stanford University's voluminous collection of archival material including previously unpublished writings interviews recordings and correspondence King scholar Clayborne Carson has constr. I had to keep reminding myself that it s not the civil rights movement I am rating and reviewing because the spectrum of legitimate excuses let alone justifications which could explain the withholding of a star or two is rather limited It comes as a kick to the gut every time a young unarmed Clifford Glover or a Travyon Martin or a Michael Brown is shot for no valid reason and the realization sinks in that the process of integration which was initiated by Lincoln some 150 years ago and furthered by Martin Luther is yet to reach its completion So the essence of this book and MLK s doctrine of nonviolent agitation are now relevant than ever In a way this is Martin Luther s own account of the movement he helped steer in a direction which not only sought to free an entire community from socioeconomic and political servitude but prevented America from becoming synonymous with the ultimate hypocrisy of all preaching the infallibility of human rights abroad by waging wars against Communist totalitarianism but carrying on with its tacit agenda of institutionalized discrimination back home I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing oriented society to a person oriented society When machines and computers profit motives and property rights are considered important than people the giant triplets of racism extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conuered How the spirit of rebellion which found expression for the first time with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 55 unwittingly started by Rosa Parks act of denying her occupied seat to a white passenger trickled into the hearts of oppressed millions in Albany Georgia Birmingham Alabama Florida Chicago Boston and Washington culminating in the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 is recounted by King himselfThat aside there s a brief autobiographical sketch patched together from the fragments of writings gathered from the Stanford University archive by Clayborne Carson Excerpts from King s speeches sometimes even the full text also make appearances in between the accounts of all the non violent movements of civil disobedience he gave leadership to To put it accurately this is less of an autobiography since King didn t live long enough to write one and like a montage of every single written document or important oratory piece which King left behind So lucidly written are these that Carson s work must have been reduced to simple editing and piecing together a coherent narrative out of the vast amount of material at her disposalAnd yet there are such glaring mistakes here which marred my reading experience Consider this excerpt from King s personal writings after his visit to India in 59 which cemented his faith in the inviolability of civil disobedience as an effective tool to usher in socioeconomic and political change On March 1 we had the privilege of spending at the Amniabad ashram and stood there at the point where Gandhi started his walk of 218 miles to a place called Bambi It s not Amniabad In all probability it s the Sabarmati ashram in Ahmedabad King is talking about while the historic walk was to Dandi a coastal village in Gujarat the state our present PM hails from Not Bambi the iconic Disney deer Even if it was a memory lapse on King s part or a sad apathy for geographical names as a King scholar looking to publish a work of monumental importance Carson should have been vigilant for inconsistencies such as the above especially since Gandhi gets mentioned several times by virtue of his being King s role model Some uick googling led me to the unhappy discovery that the Stanford archive still retains the unedited therefore incorrect information derived from the original sources I can understand the significance of preserving King s writings exactly as he authored them but the insertion of incorrect facts diminishes the integrity of this workAlso occasionally Gandhi is spelled as Ghandi AaarrrrggghhhhhhIn addition to these turn offs nearly all of King s speeches are so chock full of archetypal metaphor after metaphor that I felt it weakened the gravitas of the narrative Perhaps they would have been better off being included in shortened formats The fact of God s mercy and benevolence being invoked uite natural since King was a pastor in every alternate sentence also served as an effective irritant These are undoubtedly the primary reasons why it took me a whole month to finish reading this But these causes of botheration aside there s plenty of good to be found in this compilation Like the way MLK expresses his disappointment with 20th century capitalism in a letter addressed to his wife Coretta I am not so opposed to capitalism that I have failed to see its relative merits It started out with a noble and high motive viz to block the trade monopolies of the nobles but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against So today capitalism has out lived its usefulness It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes or his critiue of the Vietnam War and correlation drawn between American militarism and the dangerously skewed nature of race relations in the deep south I do not believe our nation can be a moral leader of justice euality and democracy if it is trapped in the role of a self appointed world policeman The absence of that missing star thus should be attributed to my personal aversion to factual inaccuracies overused metaphors and bad analogies Otherwise no rating system in existence can measure MLK s significance in American history and all that he stood for
Summary ☆ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ↠ Martin Luther King Jr.
Ucted a remarkable first person account of Dr King's extraordinary life Beginning with his boyhood the book portrays King's education as a minister his ascendancy as a leader of the Montgomery b. I very much enjoyed reading Dr King s autobiography and getting to learn of his point of view on many of the great events during the Civil Rights Era many of which he spearheaded I was not sure what to expect perhaps something rhetorical or ideological but Dr King s narrative is factual and at times self deprecating emphasizing many of the sacrifices made by others in the effort to defeat segregation Despite bridling under the humiliation of daily life in the Jim Crow South Dr King arrived at his philosophy of non violence during his college years a belief system he carried with him to the end of his lifeHis account of the 1957 Montgomery bus protests was especially moving While I was aware of the general details of this historical event from Dr King s account it s very apparent that the outcome of the protest was far from a foregone conclusion The resources of the black community were strained to the max reuiring it to unify as it never had before and the white dominated city government employed every artifice and legal pressure it could to harass and demoralize it into abandoning the effort Most black citizens depended upon the bus system notwithstanding its indignities just to get by in daily life with work and sustainment As passions arose black churches were bombed as well as Dr King s own home also coming under bomb attack At this point some citizens began to call for violence against their attackers but incredibly Dr King in one of the most amazing feats of leadership I ve ever read managed not only to restrain the impulse to violence but to inspire the black citizens of Montgomery to stay the course with non violent protest and resistance In so doing Dr King and other black leaders captured the imagination of what had been a nation indifferent to the plight of southern black citizens Dr King emerges as than a speech maker in his autobiography Clearly he was than that In his speeches he may have seemed ideological but in life Dr King was highly intelligent and eminently practical in his approach on how to lead the civil rights movement For example he avoided posing the civil rights struggle as one of black vs white Instead he pointedly and repeatedly emphasized that this was a struggle of justice vs injustice In so doing he made the movement one that tended to add supporters the longer it went most people can be surprisingly indifferent to the suffering of those outside their groups yet most people have a sense of right and wrong and detest seeing others treated unfairly unjustly or capriciously Another high point in this book is Dr King s I Have a Dream speech Along with other famous speeches in American history this surely is one of the most inspiring I ve ever read In the beginning of his career Dr King tried to be non political in his advocacy for desegregation and civil rights However in 1964 we see a sea change as Dr King endorsed LBJ over Goldwater for President I ask myself if MLK could have done otherwise In Goldwater Dr King was faced with a candidate given to some extreme statements on foreign policy but of concern seemed indifferent to the continuing discrimination against blacks in the nation Goldwater seemed to accept that this was not an issue for the Federal Government to address one that could be left to be resolved at the states level which in the South had never worked in favor of black citizens since Reconstruction LBJ on the other hand was open in his support of the civil rights movement Under the circumstances Dr King s decision to do a political endorsement is entirely understandable Unfortunately by degrees in the hands of his less able successors this I believe set the movement on a different course one that would result in black leaders in the succeeding decades to become increasingly politicized and increasingly willing to accuse any political candidate of scurrilous accusations of racism even over policy differences having nothing to do with race or civil rights without any evidence in supportAs the Civil Rights Movement spread and grew nationwide new black leaders began to emerge men with a radical view of the movement as well as a belief that non violence was acuiescence to an unjust intolerable status uo I read with sorrow as fellow blacks began to call Dr King in his visits up north Uncle Tom at the behest of such leaders as Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X For a man such as Dr King after all he d suffered on behalf of his beliefs including multiple death threats an unsuccessful assassination attempt a bombing and numerous imprisonments this must have hurt especially coming from the people it didFrom this time it does seem that Dr King s focus began to broaden from political and legal civil rights for all citizens to trying to fight poverty Unfortunately in this Dr King describes using many of the same methods and tactics he used so successfully to defeat segregation marches and demonstrations But the conditions that create poverty are not the same as those that created segregation and racial discrimination being much complex and intractable than those Those could be changed with changes in the law and via court rulings Dr King seems to have bought into the notion that poverty could be eliminated simply by Government fiat via Government programs welfare In raising public support for these Dr King was fairly successful however in changing the economic conditions in the inner city to date it s uestionable how much these really accomplished Over 50 years and 15 trillion expended later in the War on Poverty with only a 3% reduction in the poverty in all that time clearly the conditions behind poverty are much complex than it may have seemed then Nevertheless there is no doubt that Dr King is one of our greatest Americans In the hindsight of history it s easy to take the outcome of today for granted While the 1960s were a time of social upheaval and had episodes of violence I believe if not for the work of Dr King this could have turned out far worse violent with the result that black civil rights being furthered could have taken decades instead of years Dr King s championing of non violence in the push for civil rights created a condition where Americans could unify to change this unacceptable situation As such my esteem for him is greater after reading this book I see him as America s second George Washington the one who helped realize a vision of all American citizens living in freedom
Martin Luther King Jr. ↠ 0 Free read
Us boycott his pivotal role in the civil rights demonstrations in Washington DC and his complex relationship with the Kennedy brothers LBJ Malcolm X and numerous other leading figures of the day. Disclosure I own the physical book of this but I consumed it via its Grammy winning audiobook instead Why 1 It s narrated by LeVar Burton the former host of Reading Rainbow there s a reason kids listened to him and wished they knew how to read and it s because he makes whatever he s saying jump to life2 It s peppered with clips or full recordings of numerous speeches by Dr King himself Some you ve doubtless heard before like his I have a dream speech or even his I ve been to the mountaintop address but some you likely have not his speech at the rally before the start of the Montgomery bus boycott is a moving example In all cases these words take new meaning when put into the context of King s life the progress of his actions and of his thoughtsIn modern America Dr King has a mythical uality surrounding him some in my generation are liable to see his work as merely inevitable having never known an America divided de jure by segregation To the young student of civil rights this narrative of King s life his development and his impact as a civil rights leader is truly fresh revealing with gripping immediacy the struggle at each step of the journey from Montgomery to Albany to Salem to Chicago and beyondAnd yet even to those who are well versed in the civil rights movement who can name prominent figures like Roy Abernathy and Fred Shuttlesworth or key opponents like Bull Connor there is still a depth of detail into King s personal development that speaks directly to mainline uestions of ethics morality and the human conditionFor example early in his development at Morehouse College where he enrolled at the age of 15 King faced a dilemma suaring his religious upbringing and belief with intellectual rigor and modern sciences Guided by the models of Dr Benjamin Mays president of Morehouse and Rev George Kelsey prominent African American theologian King came to suare these influences becoming a man both of great intellect and unshakable faith This internal dialogue of his is profound and is of great value to any student who asks such uestionsAnother moment of interest is the conflict between King s devotion to the principles of non violence and the ideologies of other leaders like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael I never even considered how MLK might feel about the notion of black power but the result is fascinating and was another highlight of this storyLater in his life King became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War and this chapter grapples with bedrock uestions about the role of US military might in the global community the growth of the military industrial complex the conflict between solving domestic problems and engaging military actions abroad and numerous other ethical dilemmas that have emerged in the globalized world He roots the problem to materialism in a fascinating way and one that is movingI cried at the end of this book gripped by the passion the faith and the mission of Dr King s life and message Yes it s easy to let MLK day pass with a gee he was a good guy attitude but to learn about him is a truly enriching pursuit and this book is an excellent introduction to a full life Please listen to this audiobook