Baylor expert offers resources for learning more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As the nation celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you’ll likely see and hear plenty of quotes from King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. But as incredible as it is, King’s beliefs and teachings went far beyond that one moment in time; diving more deeply into his life and works can help us better appreciate both the man and his thoughts.
Rev. Dr. Malcolm Foley (PhD ’21) serves as Truett Seminary’s director of Black Church Studies, as special advisor to President Livingstone, and as co-pastor of Mosaic Waco. We asked him to share some resources with the Baylor Family for those who are wanting to learn more about King’s life, teachings and legacy; he suggested the books and documentaries below.
“It’s important to remember that, in thinking about the legacy of Dr. King, it’s easy to think he was this beloved figure,” says Foley. “But it’s important to understand that, toward the end of his life, the FBI branded him as ‘the most dangerous Negro in America.’ After his death, there was a sanitization of his message, but I think that’s done away with when you read his work. He was a brilliant, brilliant man, so it’s worth the energy to do him the service of interacting with his actual words.
“Ultimately, he believed that the evils he fought were rooted in how we treat one another — not just individually, but in the systems in which we participate, the laws that we support, and the communities we build. If they are not oriented toward justice — that is, everyone receiving what is due them as bearers of the image of God — then they are oriented toward death.”
- Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King’s final book before his assassination)
- Why We Can’t Wait (King’s 1964 work on the civil rights movement)
- The Radical King (A collection of King’s writings aimed at illustrating his revolutionary vision)
- King in the Wilderness (an HBO documentary on King’s final two years)
- Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement (an Emmy-winning PBS documentary)
- I Am A Man (covering King’s involvement with the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike)
Sic ’em, Dr. King!