Martin Luther King, and W.E.B. DuBois

Along with the rest of the country, I’m thinking about Dr. Martin Luther King today. MLK day is a day to not only remember the incredibly important work done in the African American community through the civil rights movement, but it also reminds me of what it means to be an American, to be discerning and virtuous and good, to allow for opinions and ideas and beliefs outside of what is my own biases my be. It reminds me of what I love about working for St. John’s College, a place which encourages civil dialogue and the constant defining for one’s self, of what is right and good in ourselves, and in our world.

Dr. King was inspired by great many intellectual and spiritual figures throughout his life, but one struck me recently was Dr. King’s reverence for program author W.E.B DuBois. DuBois wrote the great work “The Souls of Black Folk”, which all of our seniors read on the program. He himself was an educator, a man who sought out to highlight the unique struggles which African Americans were faced with during his life. Many of the ideas in the book still resonate today. It is hard to believe that it is not more widely read – I hadn’t even heard of the book until I came to St. John’s College.

Dr. King wrote a speech about DuBois, which you can find here. Take a read:


Image via Wikimedia Commons

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