King believed that the next phase in the movement would bring its own challenges, as African Americans continued to make demands for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, an education equal to that of whites, and a guarantee that the rights won in the Civil Rights Act of and "Where can we go from here" Voting Rights Act of would be enforced by the federal government.
His unique ability to connect the life of the mind to the struggle for freedom is legendary, and in this book—his last grand expression of his vision—he put forward his most prophetic challenge to powers that be and his most progressive program for the wretched of the earth.
Having shared a precious friendship with Martin King during the last ten years of his life, I was very pleased to learn that Beacon Press was returning to its important role as a publisher of his book-length works.
First and most important was my recollection of how determined Martin was to be fully and creatively engaged with the living history of his time, a history he did so much to help create but also a dangerous and tumultuous history that shaped and transformed his own amazingly brief yet momentous searching life.
From this position of radical engagement it would have been relatively easy for King, if he chose, to confine his published writing to telling the powerful stories of the experiences he shared almost daily with the magnificent band of women, men, and children who worked in the black-led Southern freedom movement, recounting how they struggled to transform themselves, their communities, this nation, and our world.
Always present, of course, were the deepest questions of all: Who are we meant to be? These are the recognizable queries that mature human beings persistently pose to themselves—and to their communities— as they explore the way toward their best possibilities. Indeed, it was the urgent need for such self-examination and deep reflection on the new American world that he and the freedom movement helped create that literally drove King wrestle publicly and boldly with the profound issues of this book.
Ironically, it was almost immediately after the extraordinary success of the heroic Alabama voter-registration campaign—which led to the Selma-to-Montgomery march, and the follow-up congressional passage of the Voting Rights Act—that King realized he had to confront a very difficult set of emerging American realities that demanded his best prophetic interpretation and his most creative proposals for action.
Perhaps the most immediate and symbolic energizing event came just days after President Lyndon Johnson signed the hard-won historic Voting Rights Act, "Where can we go from here" the black community of Watts, in Los Angeles, exploded in fire, frustration, and rage. Building on all of the deep resources of empathy and compassion that seemed so richly and naturally a part of his life, King appeared determined not only to pay attention but to insist that his organization and his nation focus themselves and their resources on dozens of poor, exploited black communities— and especially their desperate young men, whose broken lives were crying out for new, humane possibilities in the midst of the wealthiest nation in the world.
Something is wrong with capitalism.
Meanwhile, even before Watts, King and the SCLC staff had begun to explore creative ways in which they could expand their effort to develop a just and beloved national community by establishing projects in northern black urban neighborhoods. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, the other major Southern movement organizing force, was involved in similar Northern explorations by the mids, but both organizations were hampered by severe financial difficulties. Partly because of some earlier contacts with Chicago-based community organizers, King and SCLC decided to focus on that deeply segregated city as the center of their expansion into the anguish of the North.
From that vantage point, working sometimes uncomfortably with their Chicago colleagues, King and SCLC decided to concentrate their attention on a continuing struggle against the segregated, deteriorating, and educationally dysfunctional schools; the often dilapidated housing; and the disheartening lack of job opportunities. Mixing all this with his undying commitment to the way of active nonviolence, King remained faithful to the call he had put forth at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery march: That is what I have found in nonviolence.
We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.
In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time.
Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. Continue reading the Introdcution on Scribd scroll to page 6 of the document.
On August 16,Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Vincent Harding Michael Honey Dr. Where Do We Go from Here: From Vincent Harding's Introduction: Staff Login Development by Welcoming Websites.
The King Legacy series website is maintained by Beacon Press. Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance [Bernie Sanders] on saurerin.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Senator Bernie Sanders'.