In these eloquent essays, noted scholar and activist Vincent Harding reflects on the forgotten legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his message for today. While many prefer to embrace the "safer" message of King's stirring "I Have a Dream" speech, Harding writes passionately of King's later years, when his message and witness became more radical and challenging to the status quo at every level from civil rights to the Vietnam War.
The widening of King's message and tactics reflected an expansion of his critique of American injustice and his solidarity with the oppressed. It was this vision, in 1968, that brought him to Memphis, where he paid the final price for his prophetic witness. It is that "inconvenient hero" who speaks so urgently to the challenges of our time.
Vincent Harding (1932-2014) was emeritus Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado. Formally director of the Martin Luther King Memorial Center, and chairman of the nationally televised Black Heritage series, he served as senior advisor to the acclaimed PBS television series, "Eyes on the Prize."