Acton Institute Powerblog

MLK Day Recommendations

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While The civil rights movement was led by Christians, it is easy to forget how many believers—particularly in the South—did not support the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On this day set aside to honor the civil rights leader we should read his best work, “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, and reflect on how his words are applicable to us today.

BoycottFor many of us who were born after that era, our knowledge of Dr. King begins with his “I Have a Dream” speech and ends with his assassination in Memphis. We tend to forget the small yet momentous events that sparked the civil rights movement in America. To help fill in some of the gaps in our education I would highly recommend viewing the superb Boycott.

Because the movie came out on HBO and was about a boycott of public busses in the 1950s, it’s not hard to see why it slipped beneath most people’s radar. But the inherent drama of this true story is as exciting as anything you’re likely to see in the theaters this year. Watching it will make you wonder why we seem to rarely muster the same will to fight injustice today.

(Note: The movie Boycott focuses solely on the role King played in his most praiseworthy effort—ending racial segregation. There are many other aspects of King’s mission, however, that are not so laudable. For instance, King supported radical economic proposals that would—and did—harm those in poverty and hinder the economic freedom of all Americans. While that should be neither forgotten nor ignored, it should also not prevent us from applauding his efforts to promote the dignity and expand the liberties of African Americans.)

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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