The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume III (Magill Book Reviews)
THE PAPERS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: BIRTH OF A NEW AGE: DECEMBER 1955-DECEMBER 1956 (VOL. 3) contains an impressive and varied array of documents, including correspondence, minutes of meetings, and articles and sermons by King. What results is an insider’s guide to the major events, feelings, motivations, and personalities that fueled the Montgomery bus boycott. The volume begins shortly after the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to relinquish her seat on a bus to a white passenger. It concludes the following December, when the United States Supreme Court upheld a ruling finding state and city statutes that enforced racial discrimination in transportation unconstitutional. The boycott ended in victory for the protesters and marked the beginning of the civil rights movement to come.
In the course of the boycott, King emerged as the leading spokesperson for racial rights. He set civil rights protest in the context of larger democratic traditions in America. Through his embrace of Gandhian principles of non-violence, he placed the American struggle side-by-side with anti-colonial independence movements. He and his colleagues in Montgomery laid the groundwork for what would become the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and their protests and arrests provided the foundation for the coming mass movement to end segregation. This volume makes the history of these events both personal and accessible. There is something of inspiration for everyone in...
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The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume III (Magill's Literary Annual 1998)
This collection of historical documents is the third volume in a series being produced by the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project, a documentary history project sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change in association with Stanford University and Emory University. Together with its predecessors, Volume I: Called to Serve, January 1929- June 1951, and Volume II: Rediscovering Precious Values, July 1951-November 1955, the volume covers the early career of King and charts the ways in which King’s political convictions grew out of his theological training, his skills as a minister, and the social gospel background of his family. Volume III: Birth of a New Age specifically focuses on the organization and legal challenges of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-1956 and treats this campaign as a pivotal political turning point for King. During the boycott, King and his colleagues honed ideas and practices later utilized in the Civil Rights movement at large. Through the events chronicled in this volume, King himself emerged as a nationally recognized spokesperson of the struggle against segregation.
Correspondence to and from King makes up the bulk of the nearly three hundred documents selected to be printed in the volume. Transcriptions and facsimiles of telegrams or letters are used to illustrate both top-down and bottom-up approaches to understanding the impact of the Montgomery movement....
(The entire section is 1892 words.)