When I was in seminary one of the most popular elective courses was a course on the life and ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr. To be honest, I didn’t know a whole lot about his life and especially his ministry Sure I knew the basics: Civil Rights Movement and “I Have A Dream.” Little did I know I was missing so much.
I never knew how he got started, how his father was a big influence on his life. I never knew how he struggled with his position as leader of the Civil Rights Movement. I never had read “The Letter From Birmingham Jail.” I never knew how much his faith was impacted because of the movement. I never knew of his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech the night before his assassination in Memphis, TN.
One of the best books I read regarding the life of King was Let the Trumpet Sound by Stephen Oates. Oates has a way of telling the story of King in a way that transports you back to the South in the 1950s and 60s. The book tells of King’s childhood and is rise in the church as a minister and how he help start the bus boycotts and lead rallies and gave speeches until his last day.
King’s dream is something that is still being worked out, but his impact on the United States and the cause of justice is immeasurable.
May we remember the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”