On Monday, the nation took time to reflect on the legacy and significance of Martin Luther King, and it’s hard to avoid the feeling that our communities and leaders would be better if we would continue to reflect in a thoughtful way on King’s work throughout the entire year.
One key to thoughtful reflection is digging deeper into text, a time, and an individual. The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia has made available a digital archive of over a million documents related to the life of Martin Luther King. The slick interface allows you to browse documents from King’s career thematically or almost any other way.
For those with North Dakota tendencies, do check out the letter from high-school senior Darlene Wentz of Streeter, ND to King, or the brief, dictated note from King to Senator Quinten Bardick (D) to thank him for supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Senator Milton Young (R) thanks King for a telegram offering his views on the Voting Rights Act which was, at the time, pending in the Senate (S. 1564).
Also check out the African American Intellectual History Society’s Civil Rights Soundtrack. The tracks linked to here are too good for background music. So take turns surfing the archive and listening!