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More than a biography, To the Mountaintop is the history of a turbulent epoch that changed the course of American and world history. Moral warrior and nonviolent apostle; man of God rocked by fury, fear, and guilt; rational thinker driven by emotional and spiritual truth -- Martin Luther King Jr. struggled to reconcile these divisions in his soul. Here is an intimate narrative of his intellectual and spiritual journey from cautious liberal, to reluctant radical, to righteous revolutionary. Stewart Burns draws not only on King's speeches, letters, writings, and well-reported strategizing and activities, but also on previously underutilized oral histories of key meetings and events, which present a dramatic account of King and the movement in the crucial years from 1955 to 1968. In a striking departure from earlier books on Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, Burns focuses on King's biblical faith and spiritual vision as fundamental to his political leadership and shows how these threads wove together a "single garment of destiny," making King the most important social prophet of the twentieth century. King is not portrayed as a lone exalted hero, butas the heart of a fabric of principled leadershipthat stretched from his closest colleagues to the movement's foot soldiers on the streets. This book stresses his shaping by other leaders -- heroic figures such as Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker, James Bevel, Bob Moses, and Marian Wright Edelman -- and his conflicted relationships with John and Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. To the Mountaintop is uniquely powerful in presenting actual conversations between King and others, and in showing how King's public words often revealed his private torment. Burns provides a uniquely realist portrait of King and the civil rights movement by revealing the vital but neglected religious character of the story, and by demonstrating how King profoundly experienced the movement as a sacred mission following a path of liberation and sacrifice pioneered by Moses and Jesus.
In early 1968 the grisly on-the-job deaths of two African-American sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, prompted an extended strike by that city's segregated force of trash collectors. Workers sought union protection, higher wages, improved safety, and the integration of their work force. Their work stoppage became a part of the larger civil rights movement and drew an impressive array of national movement leaders to Memphis, including, on more than one occasion, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King added his voice to the struggle in what became the final speech of his life. His assassination in Memphis on April 4 not only sparked protests and violence throughout America; it helped force the acceptance of worker demands in Memphis. The sanitation strike ended eight days after King's death. The connection between the Memphis sanitation strike and King's death has not received the emphasis it deserves, especially for younger readers. Marching to the Mountaintop explores how the media, politics, the Civil Rights Movement, and labor protests all converged to set the scene for one of King's greatest speeches and for his tragic death. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources. Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information. From the Hardcover edition.
Learn to use four characteristics of "preaching with moral imagination" to proclaim freedom for all. The author describes the four characteristics using examples like Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,Prathia Hall, and the Moral Monday Movement, along with musicians and other artists of today. Moral imagination helps the hearer to see what they cannot see, to hear what they cannot hear--to inhabit the lives of others, so that they can embody Christ and true freedom for those others. This book equips and empowers preachers to transcend their basic skills and techniques, so that their proclamation of the Word causes actual turnaround in the hearts and lives of their hearers, and in their communities. "Frank Thomas has written a passionate summons: amid the current destructive chaos of our society there is an urgent need for moral imagination. Such imagination is the antithesis of “diabolic” and “idolatrous” imagination that is all to the fore in our public discourse and practice. Thomas fleshes out “moral imagination” with close reflection on the practice of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Before he finishes Thomas shows how the urgency of “moral imagination” belongs peculiarly to the work of the preacher. This book is a welcome call for gospel-grounded courage and truth about the neighbor issued in a way that refuses the self-serving fakery that dominates our public life." --Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary "Timely and prophetic, How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon presents a homiletic essential for our churches today. Thomas insists that it is up to the preacher to recapture and reclaim the moral imagination of our nation so that the Gospel’s message of freedom is true for all people. With attention to specific figures whose witness models the qualities and characteristics of moral imagination, Thomas inspires the preacher toward powerful proclamation that both challenges and critiques any speech that subjugates or subordinates. How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon is must read for preachers to recover and reimagine the leadership role of the church for the sake of justice for all." --Karoline M. Lewis, Associate Professor of Biblical Preaching and the Marbury E. Anderson Chair of Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary; author of She: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry. "In this lucid and compelling book, Frank Thomas plumbs the depths of American moral rhetoric for insights that will help preachers. How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon provides new and dramatic ways in which the moral imagination in a democratic society can be nurtured by visionary, empathic, wise, and artistic preachers."--John S. McClure, Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship, Vanderbilt Divinity School "Warning: Preachers, if you are comfortable with the status quo of white privilege, patriarchy, hetero-normativity, and classism, do not read this book. If you are comfortable with sermon series that reduce the gospel to self-help acronyms, don’t read this book. But if you have the courage to look honestly at our landscape and bring the moral imagination of the Christian tradition to bear on it, open these pages and your sermons may never be the same again. But then again neither will the church--or the world--be the same anymore, if enough of us follow Thomas’s advice." --O. Wesley Allen, Jr., Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
Martin Luther King's public life lasted only 13 years - yet in that time, he changed the USA's attitude to civil rights forever and continues to inspire human rights movements today. Richard Reddie has written the first book on King since Barack Obama became US president and considers whether Obama is the fulfilment of "King's dream". Reddie seamlessly melds King's religious, social, political and racial ideas in ways that are understandable, yet sophisticated; and captures his legacy and impact on both sides of the Atlantic. Reddie uses copious photographs throughout to chronicle the great man's life and times. As the first Black Brit to write a book on Martin Luther King, he brings a fresh new perspective.
Drawing upon a wide-ranging selection of scholarship and popular history, this invaluable sourcebook throws a powerful light on the civil rights movement and its most influential leader. Debates that until now have been carried out across a variety of books and journals are here brought together for the first time in a clear and insightful volume which introduces readers to key topics, debates and writers in the field. Martin Luther King, Jr and the Civil Rights Movement covers wider movement issues such as: - national and local leadership styles - the role of women and gender - violence and non-violence - integration and separatism. It also examines specific issues related to King, including: - family, church and educational influences - oratory and authorship - King's relationship with Malcolm X and other leaders - King's more radical stand during the final years of his life - controversies and debates surrounding his assassination - ongoing efforts to commemorate King's achievements. Authoritative and stimulating this is an essential resource for anyone with an interest in the man and the movement.
Chasing LIncoln's Killer"THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT!"
“To the Promised Land helps us to remember King as a prophet for poor and working-class people, as we carry on that campaign against racism and poverty in our own times. A terrific book.” —Timothy B. Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmett Till Fifty years ago, a single bullet robbed us of one of the world’s most eloquent voices for human rights and justice. To the Promised Land goes beyond the iconic view of Martin Luther King Jr. as an advocate of racial harmony, to explore his profound commitment to the poor and working class and his call for “nonviolent resistance” to all forms of oppression—including the economic injustice that “takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.” Phase one of King’s agenda led to the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. But King also questioned what good it does a man to “eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?” In phase two of his activism, King organized poor people and demonstrated for union rights, while also seeking a “moral revolution” to replace the self-seeking individualism of the rich along with an overriding concern for the common good. “Either we go up together or we go down together,” King cautioned, a message just as urgent in America today as then. To the Promised Land challenges us to think about what it would mean to truly fulfill King’s legacy and move toward his vision of “the Promised Land” in our own time.

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