MLK: To the Promised Land
Charles Williams interviewing Michael Honey
Honey, Michael; Williams, Charleshttp://solidarity-us.org/atc/193/p5246/
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/03/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23292
Interview with Michael Honey author of the study, To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice.
Michael Honey: I wanted to present a different view of Martin Luther King, Jr. that focuses on his lifelong quest for economic justice for working and poor people.
He said that the civil rights movement and the voting rights struggle were just part one of the freedom movement, to get rights that should have been ours to begin with, namely the post-Civil War 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution and the civil rights laws of Reconstruction. But civil and voting rights by themselves do not produce equality.
In his formative years as an undergraduate student at Morehouse in the '40s and a graduate student at Boston University in the '50s, King saw a big problem with capitalism and the way capitalism is organized in the United States. He wrote to Coretta Scott in 1952 that he sought "a warless world, a better distribution of wealth, and a brotherhood that transcends race or color." He got more radical from there.
The title To the Promised Land comes from his last speech on April 3, 1968, the night before he was killed in Memphis, in which he concluded, "I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land."