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Dream and LegacyDr. Martin Luther King in the Post-Civil Rights Era$
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Michael L. Clemons, Donathan L. Brown, and William H. L. Dorsey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496811844

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496811844.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
Dream and Legacy

Michael L. Clemons

Donathan L. Brown

William H. L. Dorsey

University Press of Mississippi

This volume coheres around the presumption that if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today he would have much to say about the progress and setbacks of America and the rest of the world in regards to civil and human rights, freedom and equality, and social justice. However, the question, What would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. say? is not necessarily original. Even a cursory Google search of the internet reveals that the question has been raised previously by scholars and laypersons in a variety of contexts, at least a dozen times, although not necessarily systematically or with any marked investigatory rigor. The significance of this hypothetical query is that it leads to reflective analysis and application of a framework for analysis and problem solving codified by Dr. King during the civil rights movement in the United States. The significance of this work rests also with the fact that Dr. King’s life and his work in the black struggle for freedom, perhaps unpredictably, have had a profound impact on the momentum and course of social and political history in the United States since the civil rights era. Arguably, the trajectory of society and race relations in many respects has advanced in a manner consonant with the path laid by Dr. King; this evolution has continued since the eruption of the civil rights movement in the late 1940s. Thus, Dr. King evolved a comprehensive philosophy and vision for the United States that is characterized by its universal applicability to the plight of the poor, oppressed, and downtrodden—a framework that eventually was adapted by many freedom struggles around the world. Indeed, King is a global icon of freedom, justice, and equality. He is recognized as a beacon in the struggles of peoples worldwide seeking to eradicate conditions of oppression, including entrenched poverty and social deprivation, frequently reinforced by political and economic disfranchisement....

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