MLK the Preacher


Jenny McBride reviews the latest volume of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project here. A brief excerpt:

In addition to such diverse documents as sermon outlines, full drafts, seminary papers, facsimiles, and photographs, Volume 6 also includes transcripts of tape recordings of King's most famous sermons, documents from King's file "Sermons Not Preached," a chronology of sermons preached through 1959, a sermon file inventory listing all the folders discovered in 1997, a list of selected works relevant to King's sermon preparation, letters received after King's 1958 stabbing, and a calendar of documents including materials not printed in this volume. While the scope of the volume may seem daunting, the accessibility of the documents invites scholars and lay readers alike to benefit from this remarkable discovery. As a volume dedicated to King's preaching, Volume 6 arguably best conveys the life and work of the man who said of himself in 1965, "I am many things to many people but in the quiet recesses of my heart, I am fundamentally a clergyman, a Baptist preacher. This is my being and my heritage, for I am also the son of a Baptist preacher, the grandson of a Baptist preacher and the great-grandson of a Baptist preacher."

For more on the denuding of King into a meaningless saint-for all, and an attempt to recapture his prophetic message, also check out
Baldblogger on "A King for Our Times," and Christopher Phelps, "The Prophet Reconsidered," which in addition to the Vol VI of the Papers also discusses the following books:

From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice
, by Thomas F. Jackson (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007)

Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign, by Michael K. Honey (Norton, 2007)


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