Citizen King: The Last Five Years of MLK’s Life
By Maria Popova
Today marks the 25th annual Martin Luther King Day, commemorating the visionary whose work and legacy transcended borders of nationality, ethnicity and ideology to make one of the most important contributions to human rights in history. In 2004, PBS produced Citizen King — an extraordinary documentary that skirts the all-too-familiar stories of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and instead offers a rare glimpse of the last five years of MLK’s life through personal recollections and eyewitness accounts of friends, journalists, policemen, historians and cultural luminaries.
The series is now available on YouTube in 13 parts — or, for those keen on quality, on DVD.
My dear fellow Clergymen: I came across your recent statement calling our present activities ‘unwise and untimely.’ I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” ~ Letter from the Birmingham Jail, MLK, 1963
Finally, no celebration of MLK’s legacy is complete without his iconic I Have a Dream speech — catch it here in its full hair-raising glory:
For more on MLK’s legacy, we highly recommend A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. — published more than 20 years ago, still an absolutely critical capsule of thought leadership and moral history.
Published January 17, 2011