striped rock

The story of Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement he led is our greatest national treasure. It is beautiful, searing, inspiring, and traumatic. It resounds with soaring rhetoric and ends in night­marish despair, but does not end. To me, this story surpasses all other American stories because it is the passion narrative of our time. It crashed through my lower-class white world in my youth and put me on a very unlikely vocational path. Yet this greatest of American stories no longer makes its own way, partly because of the way it was told for many years. The civil rights movement led by King refuted America’s self-congratulatory story about its freedom-loving goodness, instead offering Americans an opportunity to confess and atone for the ongoing legacy of their nation’s original sins. 

Today we need the witness of King more than ever.