Book cover of "Living the Dream" by Daniel T. Fleming.

Fighting to Desegregate the American Calendar

As a versatile but complex hero, King led a life open to interpretation by politicians and activists of all types who fiercely debated his legacy.
Rally honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Central Park, New York City, 1968

A Case of the Mondays

The beginning of the fight for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
MLK at microphone

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King

The King holiday is more than a time for reflection. It’s really a time for provocation.
Ronald Reagan signing MLK Day legislation on November 2, 1983 / Courtesy the U.S. National Archives.

Reagan Used MLK Day to Undermine Racial Justice

Reagan never really believed that Martin Luther King, Jr., deserved a holiday.
A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. stands larger than life in the center of the frame; two small figures view it in the foreground

The Struggle for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memory

How political misappropriations of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy fuel right-wing movements.
Tourists taking photos at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The Strategy for Selling Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream

Martin Luther King’s words are available publicly — for a price.
MLK receiving an honorary degree from the Free University, Amsterdam, October 20, 1956.

The International MLK

“The social revolution which is taking place in this country is not an isolated, detached phenomenon. It is part of a worldwide revolution that is taking place.”
Billboard claiming MLK was a Republican

The Uses and Abuses of the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Politics have diluted King's dream.
Screen capture of Martin Luther King Jr. giving a press conference.

What Martin Luther King Jr. Said About the Filibuster: ‘A Minority of Misguided Senators’

The context in which King shared his views on the filibuster is the same one in which the Senate now finds itself: amid battles over voting rights legislation.
Martin Luther King Jr. speaking into news microphones.

MLK Warned Us of the Well-Intentioned Liberal

Dr. King did not compromise on racial justice. Neither should we.

Five Decades of White Backlash

President Trump is the embodiment of over 50 years of resistance to the policies Martin Luther King Jr. fought to enact.
Reagan signing the bill establishing Martin Luther King Day.

The Sanitizing of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks

On the uses and abuses of civil rights heroes.
Martin Luther King Jr. giving a speech.

The Problem With Comparing Today's Activists to MLK

Media coverage of the civil rights movement is a reminder that the deification of King has skewed public memory.
Martin Luther King, Jr. with hands raised in front of bookshelf

Martin Luther King, Critical Race Theorist

Republicans may claim otherwise, but the civil rights hero was no color-blind conservative.
Jonathan Big next to cover of "King: A Life."

Restoring the Real, Radical Martin Luther King Jr. in “King: A Life”

A new biography of King emerges at a "critical juncture" for his legacy.
Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. lead a column of demonstrators as they attempt to march on Birmingham, Ala., city hall April 12, 1963. (AP Photo/Horace Cort)

King Was A Critical Race Theorist Before There Was a Name For It

When states ban antiracism history from schools, they're disavowing what King stood for.

It’s Time We Celebrate Ella Baker Day

Honoring Baker alongside Martin Luther King would highlight the long and patient work of building a social movement.

Martin Luther King and the 'Polite’ Racism of White Liberals

Many of King’s words about allies ring true today.

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Meaning of Emancipation

He was a revolutionary, if one committed to nonviolence. But nonviolence does not exhaust his philosophy.

MLK: What We Lost

50 years after King's death, his image has been transformed and stripped of its radicalism.