From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice

By Thomas F. Jackson | Go to book overview

Introduction

Over the course of his public ministry, between the Montgomery bus boycott of 1956 and the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike of 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., wove together African American dreams of freedom with global dreams of political and economic equality. King opposed racism, imperialism, poverty, and political disfranchisement in increasingly radical terms. Often he referred to the American civil rights movement as simply one expression of an international human rights revolution that demanded economic rights to work, income, housing, and security. For most Americans, however, King’s freedom dreams have become a sound bite recorded in August 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, when he envisioned a world where all men sit down together at the table of brotherhood and children are judged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” King overshadows the mass movement that made him famous, his sharp, dissident critique compressed into simple messages of nonviolence and American democracy celebrated as an accomplished fact rather than thwarted as a deferred dream.

Few Americans recall the discordant notes with which King began his legendary speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. One hundred years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Negroes still wore shackles of segregation, discrimination, and impoverishment. They existed “on a lonely island of poverty,” banished to “the corners of American society.” The nation’s founders had issued a “promissory note” guaranteeing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all Americans. But the check bounced when black Americans tried to collect. “We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation,” King’s voice boomed from his electronic pulpit. Negroes were demanding “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”1 The March on Washington pushed to the foreground economic needs and demands that reflected the movement’s broadening social base and ongoing northern struggles for jobs and justice. Dreams of economic justice had long been central to the black freedom struggle and to King’s social gospel vision. Though activists could speak of winning civil, political, and economic rights in sequence, many also considered these human rights as mutually reinforcing and international in scope.

-1-

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Politics and Culture in Modern America ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Pilgrimage to Christian Socialism 25
  • Chapter 2 - The Least of These 51
  • Chapter 3 - Seed Time in the Winter of Reaction 75
  • Chapter 4 - The American Gandhi and Direct Action 98
  • Chapter 5 - The Dreams of the Masses 123
  • Chapter 6 - Jobs and Freedom 155
  • Chapter 7 - Malignant Kinship 188
  • Chapter 8 - The Secret Heart of America 218
  • Chapter 9 - The War on Poverty and the Democratic Socialist Dream 245
  • Chapter 10 - Egyptland 276
  • Chapter 11 - The World House 308
  • Chapter 12 - Power to Poor People 329
  • Epilogue 359
  • Notes 371
  • Bibliography 425
  • Index 439
  • Acknowledgments 457
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 459

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.