Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America

By Richard Lischer | Go to book overview

8
In the Mirror of the Bible

KARL Marx once said that every great historical movement occurs in costume. Luther played Saint Paul, and the French Revolutionaries wore the Roman togas of the Republic and the Empire. The proletarian aside, of course, there has never been a revolution without borrowed imagery. From the beginning in 1955, King's leadership of the Movement was a calculated act of interpretation carried out in the mirror of the Bible's imagery, stories, and characters: the morning star of freedom illumined the darkness of an ordinary Southern city. Baptist and Methodist Rotarians were assigned and grudgingly assumed the role of "the pharaohs of the South." A festive parade of thousands along a state highway symbolized the Exodus from Egypt. Blood-spattered Negroes enacted the mystery of unmerited suffering. All of it was presided over by the black Moses who was willing to die for his people.

Some, like Ella Baker, assert, "The movement made Martin," alleging that the raw materials of this drama were there and available to the first opportunistic actor to come along. King's now-mythic stature, they imply, rests on a scaffolding of historical accidents. Even the most compelling rhetorical performance depends on the situation that evokes it, much in the way an answer is beholden to its question. Didn't King himself speak of being pursued by the furies of history?

But the Civil Rights Movement did not "make" King any more than the Civil War "made" Lincoln. Admittedly, like Lincoln, King was summoned by events he did not initiate and exposed to conditions he did not create, but his response was so powerful an interpretation of events that it reshaped the conditions in which they originated. His answer was so true that it reframed the question. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not the

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 344

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.