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To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice

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7 hours

Summary

More than fifty years ago an assassin's bullet robbed us of one of the most eloquent voices for twentieth-century human rights and justice. Drawing on a new generation of scholarship about the civil rights era, To the Promised Land goes beyond the iconic view of King as an advocate of racial harmony to explore his profound commitment to the poor and working class, and his call for "nonviolent resistance" to all forms of oppression, including economic injustice.

Phase one of that struggle led to the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. In phase two, King organized poor people and demonstrated for union rights, while seeking a "moral revolution" to replace the self-seeking individualism of the rich with an overriding concern for the common good. To the Promised Land asks us to think about what it would mean to truly fulfill King’s legacy and move toward what he called "the Promised Land" in our own time.

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