On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,'s famed "I Have a Dream" speech, sociology professor Jonathan Rieder examines King's legacy and the lasting impact of his words. Below is a round-up of media appearances by Prof. Rieder, author of Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation.
Watch Prof. Rieder in a segment on Bloomberg TV with Charlie Rose.
Read an article in The Los Angeles Times:
"The hard-boiled realist who wrote that "few members of the oppressor race can understand the … passionate yearnings of the oppressed race" must have scoffed at the dreamer who divined the day when black and white children would join hands as brothers and sisters. In truth, Martin Luther King Jr. made both statements: the first, in the "Letter From Birmingham Jail" four months before he soared majestically with the second at the March on Washington. Recognizing the Christian warrior who lingers in the shadows of the "I Have a Dream" speech is critical: To strip the "Dream" of its righteous edge betrays the very meaning of King's ministry."
Read an article from The New Yorker:
"Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s tribute to the content of character over the color of skin in his “I Have a Dream” speech, fifty years ago on August 28th, has long thrilled Americans. His reverie about “little black boys and black girls” joining “hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers” offered a sublime glimpse of brotherhood. Yet it’s a mistake to reduce King’s dream to pallid color blindness. “I Have a Dream” was also a powerful statement of black pride that found musical expression on that glorious day on the Mall."