Why Martin Luther King Saw His Life as a Sacrifice

A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biographer Sheds Light on the Civil Rights Icon's Spiritual Trials

David J. Garrow is the author of Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1987. Warren Olney, a veteran journalist for KCRW, Southern California’s flagship NPR affiliate, who covered the civil rights movement as a young reporter, interviewed Garrow about King’s life in December 2017 in Los Angeles. They discussed the ongoing relevance of King’s work and his deep commitment to Christianity, equality, and nonviolence—including his response when he was actually punched by Nazis.

This transcript has …

How India’s Nonviolent Resistance Became a Shifting Global Movement

From Gandhi to MLK to the Arab Spring, Nonviolence Is Portable, but Can It Still Persuade?

Early in the 20th century, M.K. Gandhi began to experiment with a novel form of political action, which he termed satyagraha. Gandhi first used satyagraha to protect the rights of …

How I Became the Voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For 47 Years, I've Performed the Words of the Civil Rights Legend

A Biblical passage, Luke 12:48, states to whom much is given much is required. That is the attitude I have taken since I learned that I was given the gift …

Martin Luther King Jr. as Folk Art

Street Portraits Across L.A. Show How Different Neighborhoods Interpret the Civil Rights Leader in Their Own Image

I did not set out to document murals of Martin Luther King Jr. in American cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit. I just happened to find …

Selma’s Best Supporting Role

The Film May Have Focused on Martin Luther King, But Diane Nash Was the Reason He Was There in the First Place

If you watched the film Selma, you met Diane Nash when you saw her driving with Martin Luther King, Jr., into the Alabama town early in 1965. King’s organization, the …

In Atlanta, Every Day Was MLK Day

If You Grow Up Black in King’s Hometown, You Can’t Help But See His Story Intertwine with Your Own

To grow up in Atlanta is to be always aware of the story of Martin Luther King, Jr., and to see it intertwine with your own fate.

I was born …