A mostly forgotten aspect of Martin Luther King’s legacy
On this 45th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., I’m moved to raise a subject I addressed here a few years ago, a subject that’s rarely, if ever, mentioned in classroom lessons about the man.
Such lessons invariably focus on King’s status as the greatest of America’s civil rights leaders, and rightly so. But there’s another aspect of the King legacy that’s been largely obscured, despite the courage it represented — his opposition to the war in Vietnam.
In speaking out against the war, King alienated various other civil rights leaders as well as many ordinary folks who had previously sympathized with the general thrust of the movement he led. But he refused to remain silent.
The following is part of a sermon King delivered at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on April 30, 1967: