Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Remembering Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, Jr. was perhaps one of the best Baptist Preachers in history besides Harry Emerson Fosdick, so here are some links to Fosdick's influence on MLK:

Harry Emerson Fosdick's Influence On Martin luther king jr

"How to Use the Bible in Modern Theological Construction"

Martin Luther King, Jr.

And of course, Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech was influenced by Fosdick:

Unfortunately, King’s fame has obscured the contributions of James Farmer, Ella Baker, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, and others, who, like King, mastered Gandhian strategy in the quest for racial justice.

But King’s fiery yet magisterial language convinced whites to tear down the walls of legalized segregation. He triumphed by reviving the slaves’ vivid identification with the biblical Hebrews trapped in Egyptian bondage, a strategy especially evident in “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Trained by African American folk preachers, he adopted their assumption that language is a shared treasure, not private property. King often borrowed sermons without acknowledgment from Harry Emerson Fosdick and other liberal preachers. This borrowed material appears in scores of King’s published and unpublished addresses and essays, including “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” “I Have a Dream,” the Nobel Prize Address, and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” By synthesizing black and white pulpit traditions, King persuaded whites to hear the slaves’ cry, “Let my people go!”
---Martin Luther King, Jr.

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