Martin Luther King Jr.
Beyond I Have a Dream
The right wing twists Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words to attack anti-racist education, focusing almost exclusively on MLK’s “I have a dream” declaration.

But Dr. King was a radical — in the most profound sense.

He denounced the Vietnam war, when it was politically risky, and did not mince words about U.S. racism: “The doctrine of white supremacy was imbedded in every textbook and preached in practically every pulpit. It became a structural part of the culture.”

On this holiday weekend, take a moment to read King in context, including his essays on Reconstruction and police brutality.
Cartoon used with permission of Barry Deutsch.
Dr. King on Reconstruction

Myths about Reconstruction poisoned
the collective mind of America with racism.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
We recommend reading what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had to say about Reconstruction as part of his tribute to W. E. B. Du Bois on Feb. 23, 1968.

King explains that “white historians had for a century crudely distorted the Negro’s role in the Reconstruction years. It was a conscious and deliberate manipulation of history and the stakes were high.” He describes how Du Bois set out to demolish the myths in his vital text, Black Reconstruction in America.
Reconstruction in Schools
Unfortunately, the Zinn Education Project has found that many of the myths W. E. B. Du Bois and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described still prevail in state standards on Reconstruction. We document those findings in our report, Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle: How State Standards Fail to Teach the Truth About Reconstruction. Released one year ago, this is the first-ever national study on the teaching of Reconstruction. Please read and share!
Help Us Reach More Classrooms — Donate Today!
Help us provide more teachers with lessons on Reconstruction and defend the right to teach peoples history. Donate today. Indicate in the dedications field if you would like to receive a copy of the report.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
on Police Brutality
By Jeanne Theoharis, The Atlantic

In a lesser-known part of his March on Washington speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed, “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”

He described “the total pattern of economic exploitation under which Negroes suffer” in northern cities as a “system of internal colonialism” where police and the courts act as “enforcers.” Continue reading.
Teachers Need Your Support
Teachers are under attack for teaching truthfully about U.S. history. Please donate so that we can continue to offer free people’s history lessons and resources and defend teachers’ right to use them.
PO BOX 73038, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20056 
202-588-7205 |