The Author has researched the life of Martin Luther King Jr. commencing in 1979. Interspersed in the article below are a couple of conclusions drawn from such historical research as we approach the 50th Anniversary of The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which occurred on August 28, 1963.
The life of Dr. King Jr. does basically appear consistent with the central tenets of the Hygiology Post ® Six Part Series: Healthy Change .
Mahatma Gandhi had been influenced by the nonviolent Classic, The Kingdom of God Is Within You, written by Christian Anarchist Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy, Gandhi, and King appear to have been influenced by Jesus’ teachings on non-resistance to evil force. An influence on King’s nonviolent method was Henry David Thoreau’s Essay: On Civil Disobedience.
African-American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin mentored King to dedicate himself to the principles of non-violence and was King’s main advisor and mentor throughout his early activism. However, King eventually distanced himself from Rustin because many white and African-American leaders wanted and demanded King distance himself from Rustin due to Rustin’s former association with the Communist Party USA, open homosexuality, and support of democratic socialism.
In many ways it does appear that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a practical idealist (who did strategically compromise) as evidenced by his distancing himself from Bayard Rustin. It does seem that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have judged Bayard Rustin among those as being exemplary by the “content of their character”.
On August 28, 1963 Dr. King Jr. reportedly departed from his speech which later became known as “I Have A Dream” in Washington D.C. to an estimated crowd of 250,000 people
(see also King, Martin Luther; King, Coretta Scott (2008). The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Second Edition. Newmarket Press. p. 95.) :
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.”
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Louis DeCola, Jr. © 2013 The Hygiology Post ®