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MLK Day: Home

What do you really know about Martin Luther King Jr.?

This guide is meant to introduce you to diverse perspectives on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King and challenge you to adopt a critical lens when considering these perspectives. Explore the guide to learn more about MLK and the civil rights movement he inspired.

What would MLK say?

Based on what you have learned about MLK, how would he respond to current race issues today? 

Tweet your response with #mlkspeaksnow

The "I Have a Dream" Speech

Economics and Racial Inequality

How might you research racial inequality from an economic perspective?

  • Search for terms like race, poverty, justice and inequality using the resources in the Economics Guide
  • Consider what sources of data indicate inequality in wage and income. See data sources like U.S. Census and Labor Indicators

About this Guide

A picture of Martin Luther King

Purpose of the Guide

This guide is meant to introduce you to diverse perspectives on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King and challenge you to adopt a critical lens when considering these perspectives. Explore the guide to learn more about MLK.

Key Perspectives Covered

Questions to Consider

  • From what perspectives do people typically not discuss Martin Luther King?
  • What factors have influenced the dominant narrative of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement as it exists today?

 

Feminism, Women, and the Civil Rights Movement

Women's Voices in the Civil Rights Movement

Despite the fact that many notable Civil Rights Activists were women, such as Rosa Parks, women's perspective in the movement are often glossed over. Below are some resources that demonstrate how women and women's rights were central in the role in the the Civil Rights Movement but were often jeopardized throughout the movement. 

Explore More on Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Consider what key terms appear often in the above sources (i.e. SNCC, "black women," specific names, "sexual violence"). Use these terms to search the resources on the Gender and Sexuality Study Page.

LGBT Rights and MLK

King and Bayard Rustin

Martin Luther King Jr. worked closely with Bayard Rustin, who was openly gay. In fact, much of Rustin's philosophy on non-violence shaped the ideology that King is known for, and Rustin was influential in the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was pivital to the civil rights movement.

MLK, the Civil Rights Movement and Economics

Situating the "I Have a Dream" Speech in Context

MLK's famous "I Have a Dream" speech took place at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which linked civil rights with economic rights.

Note the economic language in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs of the speech.

With this in mind, what was MLK's take on Economics? And what does Economics say about Racial Inequality?

The Economics of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement

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