Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Are we at last one nation, with liberty and justice for all? In this ebook, we reflect on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, and assess their efforts to overcome racial discrimination and to promote racial equality and integration. The first chapter explores the origins and traditions of the Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration, with particular attention to the American character of the holiday. The second chapter presents powerful accounts of the black American experience during the era of racial segregation—from Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Zora Neale Hurston, to Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin—with a focus on showing the need for civil rights. The third chapter brings us to the Civil Rights Movement itself, evaluating the goals, strategies, and tactics of the Movement's various leaders. The final chapter raises questions about the challenging and vexed issues left open in the wake of the successes of the Civil Rights Movement: equality; family, religion, and culture; and identity. For more stories, speeches, and songs, or to learn more about the What So Proudly We Hail project, head to www.WhatSoProudlyWeHail.org.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: An American Holiday 

The Origins and Traditions of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
A Brief History of the Civil Rights Movement
Dwight D. Eisenhower, "On the Situation in Little Rock: A Radio and Television Address to the American People"
Lyndon B. Johnson, "To Fulfill These Rights: Commencement Address at Howard University"
Stevie Wonder, "Happy Birthday"
Ronald Reagan, Remarks on Signing the Bill Making the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. a National Holiday
William Jefferson Clinton, Remarks on Signing the King Holiday and Service Act
Barack Obama, Remarks at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication

The African American Experience and the Need for Civil Rights

Frederick Douglass, "The Civil Rights Cases"
W. E. B. Du Bois, "On Being Crazy"
Booker T. Washington, "My View of Segregation Laws"
W. E. B. Du Bois, "Of the Coming of John," from The Souls of Black Folk
James Baldwin, "Stranger in the Village," from Notes of a Native Son
Ralph Ellison, "The Battle Royal," from Invisible Man
Zora Neale Hurston, "How It Feels to Be Colored Me"
James Baldwin, From Notes of a Native Son
Langston Hughes, "One Friday Morning"
John O. Killens, "God Bless America"
Junius Edwards, "Liars Don't Qualify"

The Civil Rights Movement

The Movement and Its Goals
Freedom Songs
     "Lift Every Voice and Sing"
     "Onward, Christian Soldiers"
     "We Shall Overcome"
     "This Little Light of Mine"
     "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize"
     "Oh, Freedom"
Martin Luther King Jr., "I Have a Dream"
Diane Oliver, "Neighbors"
Zora Neale Hurston, Letter to the Orlando Sentinel
Martin Luther King Jr., "Eulogy for the Martyred Children"
Leon R. Kass, Letter on the Civil Rights Movement
Martin Luther King Jr., "I've Been to the Mountaintop"

Movement Tactics and Strategy
Martin Luther King Jr., "The Power of Nonviolence"
     Appendix: "Commitment Card," Alabama Christian Movement for Civil Rights
Lee Martin, "The Welcome Table"
Anthony Grooms, "Food That Pleases, Food to Take Home"
A Group of Clergymen, "A Call for Unity"
Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
Joseph H. Jackson, Address to the 1964 National Baptist Convention
Malcolm X, "The Ballot or The Bullet"
Diana Schaub, "Solve for X"

Civil Rights, Race, and the American Republic: Today and Tomorrow

Racial Discrimination and Affirmative Action
Earl Warren, Brown v. Board of Education
John G. Roberts, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District
Shelby Steele, "Affirmative Action," from The Content of Our Character

The Pursuit of Equality
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., "Harrison Bergeron"
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action"
Thomas Sowell, "The Mirage of Equality," from The Quest for Cosmic Justice

Family, Religion, and Culture
Juan Williams, From Enough
Cornel West, "The Moral Obligations of Living in a Democratic Society"
Gerald Early, "Dreaming of a Black Christmas"
Alice Walker, "Everyday Use"

Identity
Henry Louis Gates Jr., "Growing Up Colored"
John McWhorter, "How Can We Save the African-American Race?," from Losing the Race
Stephen L. Carter, "The Black Table, the Empty Suit, and the Tie"
Shelby Steele, "Race-Holding," from The Content of Our Character

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Leon R.
Kass

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
    MON
  • 28
    TUE
  • 29
    WED
  • 30
    THU
  • 31
    FRI
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.