Martin Luther King: resistance, nonviolence and community

Abstract

Martin Luther King, Jr drew upon his early grounding in family and church to forge a praxis of egalitarian justice in the rigidly segregated American South of his youth. King?s ethical outlook was eclectic, reflecting the influence of such figures as Mays, Davis, Rauschenbusch, Niebuhr, Thurman and Gandhi, alongside such doctrines as personalism and liberalism, nationalism and realism. Yet King?s subsequent academic study more nearly enhanced than restructured his early, formative exposure to black church and community. King became committed to nonviolence, not as passive resistance, but as an active, aggressive, individual and self?improving solution to problems of gross injustice in society. Nonviolence for King was not an end, but a means, to the achievement of what he called ?Beloved Community?

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