Honoring the Full Scope of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Activism

· Updated on January 12, 2024

It’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which means that today’s Internet is already full of white people using quotes from the groundbreaking civil rights leader to justify a lot of stupid shit. As many Black writers have pointed out, MLK occupies a challenging space in cultural consciousness. His quotes have been deeply edited, condensed, twisted around, and doctored to reflect a much rosier, less revolutionary politic than the man himself stood and fought for.

Perhaps the best we can do to honor his legacy is to point out the many ways in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words have been sanitized, erased, amended, and dumbed down to make Republicans somehow feel totally fine and not at all hypocritical when they use his quotes to justify being against Critical Race Theory. Remembering King’s impact means staying aware of how the fight for racial equality is far from over.

The Sincere:

The Corrective:

The Instructive:

Further Learning:

And a parting note:

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