In the United States, yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, celebrating the life of the civil rights leader. A colleague found this charming photo of Reverend King with 6-year-old Robin Arrington, the daughter of SCLC attorney Henry Arrington.
Decades after the events, there is a tendency to mythologize the man and his accomplishments, but King was acutely aware of the deep economic basis of inequality and poverty in the U.S. Most modern accounts tend to downplay or outright ignore this fact and prefer to paint this campaign as strictly a racial one. And thus, race is still used today to distort our understanding of the Civil Rights Movement and the motivations of this reluctant yet determined leader.
In my humble opinion, an excellent account of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life would be Bearing the Cross : Martin Luther King, Jr. , and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Revised, 2004). It’s a shame, and perhaps not surprising, that this book does not seem to rank high in popularity.