How do you remember Martin Luther King, Jr? Last year I asked my elementary aged kids whether the cover of their MLK booklets depicted Martin Luther King, Jr., preaching. They wondered why. Apparently, they hadn’t learned about Martin Luther King, Jr., as a Reverend. An educational moment which inspired further conversation.
How do you remember, understand, process, celebrate, share the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., with friends, family, and colleagues? If you haven’t thought about it enough today and/or desire additional material to share, I encourage you to take a few minutes to
1. watch I Have a Dream on YouTube (August 28, 1963. Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. Video: 16 min, 44 sec) after reading Think with Me Today: The seedbed of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, greatest speech (Amos N. Jones. Books & Culture 1/6/2009).
2. dig into with a discussion group and/or share a link (or 2 or 3) on a social media platform:
- Today I’m Grateful for Dr. King by Derwin L. Gray (Leadership/Christianity Today, 1/19/2015)
- After Ferguson: Seeking Justice as the Semester Starts by Katelin Hansen (ESN Blog, 1/12/2015).
- Martin Luther King Jr.: A Letter to American Christians in 1956 (and Today) by Ed Stetzer (Leadership/Christianity Today, 1/19/2015)
- Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. (originally printed in the October 2002 issue of First Things). In this article Richard John Neuhaus shares much more than I’m prepared to share with my kids.* Below’s the concluding paragraph from Richard John Neuhaus’ Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
Marshall Frady and others are right: If everything was known then that is known now, Dr. King would early have been brought to public ruin, and there would almost certainly be no national holiday in his honor. But God writes straight with crooked lines, and he used his most unworthy servant Martin to create in our public life a luminous moment of moral truth about what Gunnar Myrdal rightly called “the America dilemma,” racial justice. It seems a long time ago now, but there is no decline in the frequency of my thanking God for his witness and for having been touched, however briefly, by his friendship, praying that he may rest in peace, and that his cause may yet be vindicated.
3. engage Edward Gilbreath‘s Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Epic Challenge to the Church (InterVarsity Press, 2013) by
- watching Ed Gilbreath — on Your Neighbor (Video: 1 min, 4 sec) and Ed Gilbreath — on The Movement (Video: 59 sec)
- the study guide in Read Up (Lorraine Caulton, editor. InterVarsity Press, 2013).
- reading Bob Trube’s Book Review: Birmingham Revolution (Emerging Scholars Network Blog, 12/4/2014).
4. spread the word about April 10-11: 5th Annual Black Scholars and Professional (BSAP) Conference. Save the date. Website in development. Stay tuned for updates.
*Note: I’m placing Ralph Abernathy’s And the Walls Came Tumbling Down (1989) on a reading list to prepare me for future discussion. If you have recommendations for me, please comment and/or drop me a line.
Update: 1/20/2014 (2:04 pm, 6:26 pm, added material on Birmingham Revolution); 1/22/2014 (11:46 am, added encouragement to read Think with Me Today: The seedbed of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, greatest speech); 1/19/2015 (1:10 pm, added Today I’m Grateful for Dr. King, After Ferguson: Seeking Justice as the Semester Starts, Book Review: Birmingham Revolution, 5th Annual Black Scholars & Professional Conference).
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!