Celebrating Dr. King’s (Non-Whitewashed) Legacy

Celebrating Dr. King’s (Non-Whitewashed) Legacy

January 15, 2021
Category: Resource
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An black and white picture with an African American man wearing a suit with a sign around his neck with the sign, "7089."

On Monday, January 18, 2021, we will celebrate the great Civil Rights Movement leader and activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For many of us, it’s a “day off.” NCCJ encourages you to also make it a “day on.”

You can do that by engaging in volunteer work, attending a virtual event or workshop, or reading a book or article to deepen your knowledge of his life and work. Or you can choose another activity that’s both meaningful to you and aligned with Dr. King’s legacy.

We’ve collected a couple virtual events as well as some reading material that we hope will help deepen your understanding of the values and work to which Dr. King devoted his life, and the legacy he built for those following in his footsteps after his untimely death at the hands of a white supremacist assassin.

Above all, we encourage you to consider how the narratives and popular opinions (particularly those held by white Americans) about Dr. King during his lifetime differ from the way he has often been depicted and remembered after his death.

In many ways, as some of the resources below discuss in greater detail, his work has been sanitized or “whitewashed” in dominant popular narratives. Typically, his nonviolent approach is highlighted and praised while some of his more “radical” stances (such as his work to battle poverty and economic injustice) are downplayed.

We hope you find these resources helpful. (If you do, please share them with friends and family!) We also hope you’ll do some more of your own research and contemplate what Dr. King’s work means to you – and how it applies to diversity, equity and inclusion work and antiracism activism today.

Local (Virtual) MLK Day Events

Other Virtual Events and Lectures

Resources for Learning More About Dr. King