Dream and Reality: The Modern Black Struggle for Freedom and Equality

By Jeannine Swift | Go to book overview

2 A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

David J. Garrow

I think it is particularly apt to reflect on King's message and the lessons we can draw from his life in light of how the organizers of this conference have used the "Dream and Reality" title. There is nothing that Dr. King himself would want us to appreciate more, after his death, than the fact that many of the goals that he struggled for, in fact most of the goals that he talked about following 1965, have not been achieved and, indeed, in sane respects, have not even been advanced.

Reflecting on Dr. King and his legacy, I wish to stress two points. First, I want to examine briefly Dr. King's emotional evolution and his own understanding of the role he played during the years between 1955 and 1968 when he devoted his life to the Civil Rights Movement. Second, I want to address his political evolution, the increasingly radical evolution in his views and hopes for American society that Dr. King underwent in the final years of his life.

To grasp Dr. King's understanding of his own life is to appreciate that King thought of himself as first and foremost a minister, a pastor. Younger people today, in particular, only see images of King from television news clips that show him as a person giving speeches and leading marches, which do not highlight his fundamental attachment to the ministry and his fundamental roots in the church. Appreciating the centrality of religion and the church for Dr. King is crucial if we are to make sense of the very selfless way, the very humble way, he devoted himself and made himself of service to the movement.

Almost without exception, the people closest to Dr. King always want to point out to those of us who are younger that he was very self effacing, nonegotistical, and at times even shy. Dr. King was someone who had no desire, no need, to be a public figure or a celebrity. He was not someone who enjoyed being in the limelight. Especially when one looks back at the beginning in Montgomery, the start of the boycott there, and the very crucial role that women--the black professional women's group in Montgomery--actually played in getting the boycott under way, one can appreciate even better how King was chosen as the spokesperson, as the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, not through any initiative, or desire or self-promoting on his own part; he was very much drafted for that job and drafted in part because his colleagues recognized, even then, what a very special speaking ability, what a special ability to articulate the cause of black freedom Dr. King possessed. We must keep in mind as well with reference to Montgomery just how young Dr. King was at that time--he was only twenty-six--when he was drafted for that position; he was only thirty-nine at the time he was killed.

What one particularly sees in that early part of the Montgomery boycott is Dr. King somewhat painfully making a commitment of service to

-13-

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

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
Dream and Reality: The Modern Black Struggle for Freedom and Equality
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1: A Tale of Two and One-Half Decades 3
  • Notes 11
  • 2: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. 13
  • 3: Rediscovering Women Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement 19
  • Conclusion 26
  • Notes 26
  • 4: The Civil Rights Movement: Upheaval and Organization 29
  • Conclusion 39
  • Notes 40
  • 5: Blacks and the New South: Civil Rights in the Eighties 43
  • Introduction 43
  • Conclusion 49
  • Notes 50
  • 6: Improving the Plight of Black, Inner-City Youths: Whose Responsibility? 53
  • Notes 65
  • 7: Racial Attitudes of Black and White Adolescents Before and After Desegregation 69
  • Conclusion 73
  • Notes 74
  • 8: The Ills of Integration: A Black Perspective 77
  • Introduction 77
  • Notes 84
  • 9: A Dream Deferred for Quality Education: Civil Rights Legislation and De Facto Segregation in the Cincinnati Schools, 1954-1986 87
  • Notes 91
  • 10: The Housing Conditions of Black Americans: 1960s-1980s 93
  • Conclusion 98
  • Notes 105
  • 11: The Collapse of the Employment Policy Agenda: 1964-1981 107
  • Introduction 107
  • Conclusion 120
  • Notes 121
  • 12: Black Workers at Risk: Jobs for Life or Death 125
  • Conclusion 131
  • Notes 133
  • 13: "Where Do We Go from Here" 137
  • Notes 144
  • Index 147
  • About the Editor and the Contributors 153
  • Hofstra University's Cultural and Intercultural Studies Coordinating Editor, Alexej Ugrinsky 157
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
/ 162

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.
    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

    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.