Today marks the 36th Martin Luther King Jr. Day since the date was made a federal holiday in 1986. Today we remember the words of MLK and reflect on the fight for racial justice which he dedicated his life to, ultimately died for—and which still persists to the present day.
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However, while MLK's life and legacy are widely recognized, his actual words and writings are less so.
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'MLK is the only individual who is honored on the National Mall who is not a president. We know so much about the words of Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington, and Roosevelt, but we don't know a whole lot about the words of King other than 'I Have a Dream,'' said Lerone A. Martin.
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Martin is the faculty director of Stanford's Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.
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'It's easy for King to be narrated or mythologized as someone who was passive. Yet King was radical, at least the federal government felt that way. We've got to make sure that we tell that story.'
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'We really have to wrestle with our history and what it means for us today as we think about movements for change in this country specifically and the role of faith in our politics more broadly,' Martin continued.

Jan 17, 2022 · 3:53 PM UTC

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'The changes that came about from people protesting peacefully and nonviolently were not inevitable. They came—not because people were so willing to accept them—but because people were willing to push for them.'
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