Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement - The Other America (2023)

[By 1967, war, racism, and poverty had become the dominant issues facing the United States and the freedom movement. On the 4th of April, Dr. King vigorously opposed the Vietnam War with "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence', held at Riverside Church in New York. Ten days later, in a speech at Stanford University entitled "the other america" says Dr. King about race, poverty and economic justice.the other america"For other audiences.)]

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Faculty members and students of this great educational institution; Ladies and gentlemen.

Well, there are several things that could be discussed in front of such a large, concerned, and enlightened audience. Our nation and our world face so many problems that anyone could just take off anywhere. But today I want to talk mainly about race issues, as I'm supposed to be on my way to New York soon to talk about Vietnam tomorrow. and I've talked about it a lot this week and weeks before.

But I want to use a theme this afternoon, the other America.

And I use this topic because there are literally two Americas. An America is beautiful for the situation. And, in a way, this America is overflowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of opportunity. This America is home to millions of people who have sustenance and material needs for their bodies; and culture and education for their minds; and freedom and human dignity for your spirit. In this America, every day, millions of people experience the opportunity to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in all its dimensions. And in this America, millions of young people are growing up in the light of opportunity.

But tragically and sadly, there is another America. This other America has an everyday ugliness that constantly transforms the exuberance of hope into the weariness of despair. In this America, millions of unemployed men walk the streets every day looking for jobs that don't exist. In this America, millions of people live in slums infested with rats and vermin. In this America, millions of people are poor. You find yourself on a desert island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

In some ways, the greatest tragedy of this other America is what it does to children. Young children in this other America are forced to grow up with clouds of inferiority forming in their little mental sky every day. When we look at this other America, we see it as an arena of shattered hopes and dreams. Many people from different backgrounds live in this other America. Some are Mexican American, some are Puerto Rican, some are Indian, some belong to other groups. Millions of them are Appalachian white. But probably the largest group in this other America, relative to its population, is the American Negro.

The American Negro finds himself in a triple ghetto. A ghetto of race, a ghetto of poverty, a ghetto of human misery. So what we're trying to do in the civil rights movement is to solve this problem. To deal with this problem of the two Americas. We strive to make America one indivisible nation, with liberty and justice for all. Now, let me just say that the fight for civil rights and the fight to make these two Americas one America is much more difficult today than it was five or ten years ago. For a decade or so, perhaps twelve years, we fought glorious battles across the South to get rid of open, legal segregation and all the indignities that surrounded that system of segregation.

In a way, this was a fight for decency; We couldn't go to a burger joint and buy a hamburger or a cup of coffee on so many occasions. We couldn't use public accommodations. Public transport was segregated and we often had to sit in the back, and in traffic - traffic within cities - we often had to stand on empty seats because the areas were reserved for whites only. In many parts of the South we did not have the right to vote. And the struggle was to deal with these problems.

And certainly they were difficult problems, they were humiliating conditions. We protest these conditions by the thousands. We make it clear that, ultimately, it is more honorable to accept prison experiences than exclusion and humiliation. By the thousands, students and adults chose to sit at separate food stalls to protest the conditions there. As they sat at those food counters, what they were really doing was defending the best of the American Dream, trying to lead the entire nation back to the great fountains of democracy dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the formulation of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence.

Much has been achieved as a result of these years of struggle. In 1964, the Civil Rights Bill came into being after the Birmingham Movement, which did much to summon the conscience of much of the nation to appear before the moral court on the whole civil rights issue. After the Selma movement in 1965, we managed to pass a voting rights law. And all these things represented progress.

But we have to see that the fight is much more difficult today. It's harder today because we're fighting for true equality now. It is much easier to incorporate a food counter than to guarantee a decent income and a good, stable job. It is much easier to guarantee the right to vote than the right to live in clean and decent housing. It is much easier to integrate a public park than to carry out real, high-quality, integrated education. And today we fight for something that says we demand real equality.

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It's not just a fight against extremist behavior towards black people. And I am convinced that many of the people who supported us in the fight in the south are not ready to go all the way now. I experienced this in a very difficult and painful way. The last year in Chicago, where I lived and worked. Some of the people who ran to march with us in Selma and Birmingham were not active in the Chicago area. And I found that so many people who were morally and even financially supportive of what we were doing in Birmingham and Selma were really outraged by Bull Connor and Jim Clark's extremist behavior towards black people, instead of believing in real equality for black people. And I think we have to see that now and that makes the fight that much harder.

As a result of all this, today we see many problems that are becoming more and more difficult. This is often overlooked, but black people tend to live in worse slums today than they did 20 or 25 years ago. In the North, schools are now more segregated than they were in 1954, when the Supreme Court desegregated schools. Economically, blacks are worse off today than they were 15 or 20 years ago. And so the white unemployment rate was once about the same as the black unemployment rate. But today the unemployment rate among blacks is twice that of whites. And the average income of blacks today is 50% lower than that of whites.

As we look at these issues, we see them growing and evolving every day. We see the fact that the Negro, in his everyday life, is economically confronted with a depression more devastating than the depression of the 1930's. The unemployment rate for the country as a whole is about 4%. Department of Labor statistics say that among blacks it is about 8.4%. But it is people who are in the labor market who still go to employment agencies looking for work and therefore can be calculated. You can get the stats because they are somehow still in the workforce.

But there are hundreds of thousands of black people who have given up. You have lost hope. They feel that life for them is a long and sad dead-end corridor, and so they stop looking for a job. Some estimate that these individuals, called the discouraged, make up 6 or 7% of the black community, which means that unemployment among blacks can reach 16%. Among young black men in some of our larger urban areas, it's about 30 to 40 percent. So you can understand what I mean when I say that there is a huge, tragic, and heartbreaking struggle in the black community that we face in our daily lives.

Well, the other thing that we need to see right now, that a lot of us haven't seen very well in the last decade, is that racism is still alive and well in American society. And much more widespread than we thought. And we need to see racism for what it is. It is a myth of the superior race and the inferior race. It is the false and tragic notion that a certain group, a certain race, is responsible for all progress, insight, along the flow of history. It is the theory that another group or race is totally depraved, inherently impure, and inherently inferior.

Ultimately, racism is bad because its ultimate logic is genocide. Hitler was a sick and tragic man who brought racism to its logical end. In the end, he led a nation to the point where some 6 million Jews were killed. This is the tragedy of racism, as its ultimate logic is genocide. If someone says I'm not good enough to live next door; When someone says I'm not good enough to eat in a cafeteria, have a good decent job or go to school with them just because of my race, they are consciously or unconsciously saying that I don't deserve to exist.

To use a philosophical analogy here, racism is not based on any empirical generalization; rather, it is based on an ontological claim. It is not the claim that certain people are lagging behind culturally or otherwise because of environmental conditions. It is the statement that the essence of a people is inferior. And that's the great tragedy of it.

I assert, as uncomfortable as it is, we must honestly see and admit that racism is still entrenched across America. It's still deeply rooted in the North and it's still deeply rooted in the South.

And that leads me to say something about another discussion that we hear a lot, which is the so-called "white reaction." I sincerely want to tell you that the white reaction is just a new name for an old phenomenon. It's not something that just came about because of the Black Power screams or because black people were rioting in Watts, for example. The fact is, the state of California overturned a fair housing statute before anyone called out Black Power or before anyone rioted in Watts.

It may very well be that the black power cries and riots in Watts and Harlems and other areas are the result of the white reaction and not the cause. What you need to see is that there has never been a single solid, monistic, determined commitment to the whole civil rights issue and the entire racial equality issue on the part of the vast majority of white Americans. The truth compels all people of goodwill to admit this.

The Statue of Liberty says that America is a homeland of exiles. It doesn't take long for us to realize that America was home to its white exiles from Europe. But she did not show the same kind of maternal care and concern for her black exiles from Africa. No wonder the Negro could sing in one of his lamentations: "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child." What a great alienation, what a great feeling of rejection did a people with such a metaphor come up with when looking at their lives.

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What I'm trying to convey is that our nation has always taken a positive step on the issue of racial justice and racial equality. But at the same time he always took a few steps back. And this was the persistence of the so-called white reaction.

In 1863, the Negro was freed from the bondage of physical slavery. But at the same time, the nation refused to give him land to make sense of that freedom. And at the same time, the United States was donating millions of acres of land in the West and Midwest, which meant that the United States was willing to support its white farmers in Europe with an economic base that would allow them to grow and thrive. develop, and refused to give that economic ground, so to speak, to its black pawns.

For this reason, Frederick Douglas might say that emancipation for the Negro was freedom to starve, freedom from the winds and rains of heaven, freedom without a roof to cover your head. He went on to say that it was freedom without bread to eat, freedom without land to cultivate. It was freedom and hunger at the same time. But does not stop there.

In 1875, the nation passed a civil rights law and refused to enforce it. In 1964, the nation passed a weaker civil rights law, and to date, that law has not been fully enforced in all its dimensions. The nation ushered in a new day of concern for the poor, the poverty-stricken, and the underprivileged. And created a Poverty Bill by putting so little money into the program that it would hardly be a good fight against poverty, and it still isn't. White politicians in the suburbs speak eloquently against open housing while at the same time claiming they are not racist. And all of that, and all of that tells us that for over 300 years America has been fighting back the whole issue of basic, God-given constitutional rights to blacks and other disadvantaged groups.

These conditions, the existence of widespread poverty, slums and tragedies in schools and in other spheres of life, all these things have caused a lot of despair and a lot of despair. Great disappointment and even bitterness in black communities. And today all our cities are facing big problems. All of our cities are potential powder kegs as these conditions persist. Many in moments of anger, many in moments of deep bitterness, join riots.

Let me say what I have always said and will always say, that riots are socially destructive and self-destructive. I still believe that non-violence is the most powerful weapon available to the oppressed in their fight for freedom and justice. I feel that violence only creates more social problems than it solves. That it is literally impossible for the Negro to even think of starting a violent revolution in the United States. So I will continue to condemn the riots and I will continue to tell my brothers and sisters that this is not the way to go. And continue to claim that there is another way.

But at the same time, it is as necessary for me to condemn conditions that make people feel they must engage in seditious activities with the same force as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America needs to see that riots don't come out of nowhere. Certain conditions persist in our society that must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the end, a riot is the language of the inaudible. And what has America not heard? She has not heard that the situation of poor black people has worsened in recent years. She has not heard that the promises of freedom and justice have not been fulfilled. And she has never heard that large sections of white society are more concerned with calm and the status quo than with justice, equality and humanity. And so, in a real sense, our nation's summers of turmoil are caused by our nation's winters of lag. And as long as America delays justice, we will be able to see this repetition of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantees of preventing riots.

Now, let me continue by saying that if we are going to deal with all the issues that I've been talking about, and if we are going to get America to the point where we have one indivisible nation, with liberty and justice for all, there are certain things that we must do. . The task before us must be both daunting and positive. We need to develop massive action programs in the United States to address the issues I mentioned. Now, in order to develop these massive programs of action, we need to get rid of one or two misconceptions that still exist in our society. One is the notion that only time can solve the problem of racial injustice. I'm sure you've heard this idea. It's almost the notion that there is something in the flow of time that will miraculously cure all ills. And I heard it over and over again. There are those, and they are often genuine people, who are saying to black people and their allies in the white community that we should slow down and just be kind and patient and keep praying and in a hundred or two hundred years the problem will be gone. away and work alone, because only time can solve the problem.

I think there is an answer to this myth. And is that time is neutral. It can be used both constructively and destructively. And I am absolutely convinced that the forces of evil in our country, the extreme right in our country, have often used time much more effectively than the forces of goodwill. And it may be that in this generation we not only have to mourn the hateful words of bad people and the violent acts of bad people, but also the awful silence and indifference of good people who sit back and say, wait punctually. At some point we have to realize that social progress never comes on wheels of inevitability. It happens through the tireless effort and perseverance of committed individuals. And without that hard work, time itself becomes the ally of the primal forces of social stagnation. And so we have to take the time, and we have to realize that it's always the right time to do the right thing.

Now another idea is popping up, it's all over the place. It's in the south, it's in the north, it's in California and across our country. It is the idea that legislation cannot solve the problem, that it cannot do anything in this area. And those who make that argument claim that you have to change the heart and you can't change the heart through legislation. Now I would be the first to say that a lot of change of heart is really needed in our country and I believe in change of heart. I preach about it. I believe in the need for conversion in many cases and renewal to use theological terms. And I would be the first to say that if America's race problem is solved, the white man has to treat the Negro well, not just because the law says so, but because it's natural, because it's right, and because the Negro is his. brother. And so it is clear to me that if we are to have a truly integrated society, men and women must rise to the majestic heights of obedience to the unworkable.

But having said that, let me say something else that shows the other side, namely, while it is true that morality cannot be regulated by law, behavior can be regulated. While it may be true that the law cannot change the heart, it can restrain the insensitive. Even if the law cannot compel a man to love me, it can prevent him from lynching me. And I think that's really important too. So, while the law cannot change people's hearts, it can and does change people's habits. And if you start changing people's habits, soon their attitudes will change too; very soon hearts will be changed. And I believe we still need strong civil rights legislation. And Congress has a bill ahead that would create a national or federal open living bill. A federal law declaring housing discrimination unconstitutional.

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And also a bill to concretize the administration of justice throughout our country. Now no one can doubt the necessity. No one can doubt the necessity when one considers that since 1963, in the state of Mississippi alone, some 50 black and white civil rights activists have been brutally murdered and not one person has been convicted of these insidious crimes. There were some accusations, but no one was convicted. There is, therefore, a need for a federal law that addresses the whole question of the administration of justice.

We need fair housing laws across the country. And it's really tragic that Congress let this bill die last year. And when that law died in Congress, a little bit of democracy died, a little bit of our commitment to justice died. If that happens again in this session of Congress, a greater measure of our commitment to democratic principles will die. And I see no more dangerous trend in our country than the continued development of predominantly black inner cities surrounded by white suburbs. This only invites social catastrophe. And the only way to solve this problem is for the nation to take a strong stand and state governments to take a stand against housing segregation and against discrimination in all these areas.

Now, there's one more thing I want to mention when I talk about the massive program of action, and time doesn't permit me to go into too much detail about specific programmatic actions. But it should now be clear that the Negro cannot solve problems alone. There are people who always say to black people: "Why don't you do something for yourself? Why don't you stand by your own bootstraps?And we hear it again and again.

Well, there are certainly many things we must do for ourselves that only we can do for ourselves. Surely we must develop within a sense of dignity and self-respect that no one else can give us. A sense of masculinity, a sense of personality, a sense of not being ashamed of our heritage, not being ashamed of the color of our skin. It was wrong and tragic for the black to be ashamed of being black or that his ancestral homeland was Africa. And so there is much the Negro can do to develop self-respect. There is much that the Negro must and can do to accumulate political and economic power within his own community and through the use of his own resources. And so we must do certain things for ourselves, but that must not negate the fact and cause the nation to ignore that the Negro cannot solve the problem alone.

A man was on the plane with me a few weeks ago and he came up to me and said, "The problem Dr. The most important thing I see in what you guys do is every time I see you and other black people you protest and do nothing for yourselves."And he went on to tell me that since he got really poor he managed to earn something for himself."Why don't you teach your people" he said, "stand up with your own boots?"And then he went on to say that other groups were at a disadvantage, the Irish, the Italians, and he got straight to the point.

And I told him that doesn't help the black man, it just adds to his frustration when you tell him that other ethnicities that immigrated or immigrated to this country less than a hundred years ago overtook him and he came here around 344 years ago. And I continued to remind him that black people came to this country involuntarily in chains, while others came voluntarily. I continued to remind him that no other racial group was a slave on American soil. I kept reminding him that the other problem we've faced over the years is that this society stigmatizes the color of the black person, the color of his skin, because he's black. Doors were closed to him that were not closed to other groups.

And finally I told him that it was fine to tell people to stand up in their own boots, but it was a cruel joke to tell a man without boots to stand up in his own boots. And the fact is, millions of black people have been left without prey as a result of centuries of denial and neglect. They find themselves as impoverished aliens in this rich society. And there is much that society can and must do if the Negro is to obtain the economic security he needs.

Now, one of the answers seems to me to be a guaranteed annual income, a guaranteed minimum income for all people and for our families in our country. It seems to me that the civil rights movement needs to start organizing for guaranteed annual income now. To begin to organize people across our country and mobilize forces so that we can bring awareness to our nation of this need, and that is something that I believe will go a long way in solving the economic problem that black people face and the economic problem that many other poor people in our country face. country are facing. I've already said that I won't talk about Vietnam, but I can't give a speech without mentioning some of the problems that we face there, because I think this war has distracted attention from civil rights. It has strengthened our nation's response forces and brought to light the military-industrial complex that even President Eisenhower once warned us about. And above all, it destroys lives. It is destroying the lives of thousands of promising young people in our nation. It destroys the lives of boys and girls in Vietnam.

But one of the biggest things this war is doing to our civil liberties is allowing the Great Society to be slaughtered on the battlefields of Vietnam every day. And I'm proposing this afternoon that we can end poverty in America. Our nation has the resources for this. The US gross national product this year will rise to a staggering figure of around $780 billion. We have the resources: the question is whether our nation has the will, and I contend, can we spend $35 billion a year waging a reckless war in Vietnam and $20 billion a year to put a man on the moon to bring back, our only nation can spend billions of dollars raising God's children on its own two feet here on earth.

Let me say something else that is more in the realm of the spirit, and that is, if we are to move forward in the coming days and make true brotherhood a reality, we must recognize more than ever that the destinies of the black man and the white man are the same. connected to each other. Well, there are still many people who don't realize this. Racists still don't understand this. But now it's a fact that blacks and whites are connected and we need each other. The black man needs the white man to save him from his fear. The white needs the black to absolve him of his guilt. We are connected in many ways, our language, our music, our cultural patterns, our material wealth and even our food are a mixture of black and white.

Therefore, there cannot be a separate black path to power and achievement that cuts through non-white groups. There can be no separate white path to power and achievement without a social catastrophe. It does not recognize the need to share this power with black aspirations for freedom and justice. We must now recognize that integration is not just something romantic or aesthetic, where you just bring color to a still predominantly white power structure. Integration must also be seen in political terms, where power is shared, where blacks and whites share power together to build a great new nation.

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We are all literally caught in an inescapable web of reciprocity, bound by a single cloak of fate. John Donne put it graphically years ago: “No man is an island of his own. Each human being is a piece of the continent, a part of the whole."And he goes on at the end to say, 'The death of every human being belittles me because I am involved in humanity. So never broadcast knowing whose time it is. He plays for you.“And so we are all in the same situation: saving the black man means saving the white man. And the destruction of Negro life and continued progress will be the destruction of the nation's continued progress.

Finally, let me say that we have difficulties ahead, but I'm not desperate. Somehow I keep hope in spite of hope. And I talked about the difficulties and how the problems will be difficult if we solve them. But I want to end this afternoon by saying that I still believe in the future. And I still believe that these problems can be solved. And that's why I don't join those who say we haven't managed to develop a coalition of conscience yet.

I recognize and understand the dissatisfaction, anguish, disappointment and even bitterness of those who feel that white people in America are untrustworthy. And I would be the first to say that there are many who are still guided by the racist ethos. And I remain convinced that there are still many white people of good will. And I am happy to say that I see it every day in the generation of students who value democratic principles and justice above principle and who will clung to the cause of justice, the cause of civil rights and the cause of peace in the days to come. . And so I refuse to despair. I think we will achieve our freedom because no matter how far America strays from ideals of justice, America's goal is freedom.

As abused and despised as we may be, our destiny is tied to the destiny of America. Before the Pilgrim Fathers landed in Plymouth, we were here. Before Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence into the pages of history, we were here. Before the beautiful words on the American flag were written, we were here. For more than two centuries, our ancestors worked here without pay. They made cotton king. They built their masters' houses amid the most humiliating and oppressive conditions. And yet they continued to grow and evolve from bottomless vitality.

And I say that if the unspeakable atrocities of slavery failed to stop us, the opposition we now face, including so-called white backlash, surely will. We will gain our freedom because both our nation's sacred heritage and the eternal will of Almighty God are embodied in our resounding demands.

And so I can still sing "We Shall Overcome". We will win because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward righteousness. We will overcome because Carlyle is right,"No lie can live forever."We will overcome because William Cullen Bryant is right"Truth crushed on earth will rise again."We'll get through it because James Russell Lowell is right"Truth forever on the scaffold, false forever on the throne - but this scaffold shakes the future." With this faith we will be able to cut a stone of hope from the mountain of despair.

With this belief, we will be able to transform our nation's raucous speech into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With that faith, we will be able to hasten the day when all of God's children, black and white, Jew and Gentile, Protestant and Catholic, can join hands and live together as brothers and sisters in this great nation. It's going to be a big day, it's going to be a big tomorrow. In the words of Scripture, symbolically speaking, this will be the day when the morning stars sing together and the children of God shout for joy.

Copyright © Martin Luther King, Jr. 1967

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“The Other America” (1967)

I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "The Other America" speech at Stanford University in California, on April 14, 1967.

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On April 14, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech entitled “The Other America” at Stanford University.

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In his speech “The Other America” (where he was interrupted over and over by hecklers calling him a traitor), King focused on the economic inequalities corroding American society and put Detroit's recent uprising in the broader context of racial inequality in the city through the nation.

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King made at Stanford University in 1967, a year before his assassination and marvel at how relevant his words remain: “There are literally two Americas. One America is beautiful for situation. And in a sense this America is overflowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of opportunity.

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King came to view U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia as little more than imperialism. Additionally, he believed that the Vietnam War diverted money and attention from domestic programs created to aid the Black poor.

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In 1963, King and the SCLC worked with NAACP and other civil rights groups to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which attracted 250,000 people to rally for the civil and economic rights of Black Americans in the nation's capital. There, King delivered his majestic 17-minute "I Have a Dream" speech.

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When Michael Harrington's masterpiece, The Other America, was first published in 1962, it was hailed as an explosive work and became a galvanizing force for the war on poverty. Harrington shed light on the lives of the poor—from farm to city—and the social forces that relegated them to their difficult situations.

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As King put it: "Winston Churchill once famously observed that Americans will always do the right thing, only after they have tried everything else."

What was America's leading slogan? ›

"No taxation without representation" is a political slogan that originated in the American Revolution, and which expressed one of the primary grievances of the American colonists for Great Britain.

What's a famous quote from the American Revolution? ›

On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry signaled the coming revolution when he spoke at a Virginia convention and allegedly implored: “Give me liberty, or give me death!

What are some quotes from The Other America speech? ›

This America is the habitat of millions of people who have food and material necessities for their bodies, culture and education for their minds, freedom and human dignity for their spirits. In this America children grow up in the sunlight of opportunity. But there is another America.

What was the significance of Michael Harrington's The Other America? ›

When Michael Harrington's masterpiece, The Other America, was first published in 1962, it was hailed as an explosive work and became a galvanizing force for the war on poverty. Harrington shed light on the lives of the poor—from farm to city—and the social forces that relegated them to their difficult situations.

Who introduced to America? ›

Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering the Americas in 1492.

What are 5 accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr? ›

MLK's accomplishments by date
  • 1955 – The Montgomery Bus Boycott. ...
  • 1957 – The founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) ...
  • 1963 – The Birmingham Campaign. ...
  • 1963 – The Great March on Washington. ...
  • 1964 – Civil Rights Act of 1964. ...
  • 1964 – Nobel Peace Prize. ...
  • 1965 – 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Jan 14, 2022

What rights did Martin Luther King fight for? ›

He organized and led marches for Blacks' right to vote, desegregation, labor rights, and other basic civil rights. (How the U.S. Voting Rights Act was won—and why it's under fire today.) On August 28, 1963, The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom became the pinnacle of King's national and international influence.

What is the famous line of Martin Luther King? ›

Martin Luther King Jr. quotes: 10 most popular from the civil rights leader
  • "The time is always right to do what is right."
  • "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. ...
  • "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
  • "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Jan 21, 2019

What was King's most famous speech? ›

Martin Luther King, Jr. : I Have a Dream Speech (1963) - U.S. Embassy & Consulate in the Republic of Korea.

What were Martin Luther King, Jr's last words? ›

King said, "Ben, play "Precious Lord" in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty." Those were the last words he spoke. He was killed by a gunshot wound.

Did the Vietnam War help the civil rights movement? ›

The Vietnam War had a major impact on the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The war helped to split the struggle for social justice at the very time that it was achieving its greatest successes. The factionalism over whether or not to support the war decimated the crusade for human equality.

What did MLK say about Vietnam? ›

Later that year King framed the issue of war in Vietnam as a moral issue: “As a minister of the gospel,” he said, “I consider war an evil. I must cry out when I see war escalated at any point” (“Opposes Vietnam War”).

Who spoke out against the Vietnam War? ›

Stanford's Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute is marking this coming Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a newly released recording of the most controversial speech he ever gave — against the war in Vietnam.

Why did MLK fight for civil rights? ›

Martin Luther King Jr. sought to raise the public consciousness of racism, to end racial discrimination and segregation in the United States. While his goal was racial equality, King plotted out a series of smaller objectives that involved local grassroots campaigns for equal rights for African Americans.

What did MLK believe in? ›

Drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950s and '60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States.

Did Martin Luther King believe in the American dream? ›

From first to last, King insisted that his dream was a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

Who said I had a dream? ›

It was on this day in 1963 that Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech as part of the March on Washington.

What is the main message of I Have a Dream? ›

A call for equality and freedom, it became one of the defining moments of the civil rights movement and one of the most iconic speeches in American history.

What makes Martin Luther King's speech so powerful? ›

King's firm belief in racial equality, civil rights and justice for all was part of what made his speech so powerful. Because he believed in the power of his cause and the beauty of a better future, the crowd of over 250,000 did as well. Without conviction, any change you're trying to accomplish will likely fall flat.

What is the most patriotic quote? ›

"One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation evermore!" "I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit." "Duty, honor, country.

What was the message of the other America? ›

Dr. King first gave his “Other America” speech at Stanford University in 1967 and addressed topics surrounding race, poverty and economic injustices that were, and still are, plaguing American society. In Dr. King's speech he begins by painting the picture of the two Americas that exist in American society.

What is the most American saying? ›

30 American Sayings That Leave Foreigners Totally Puzzled
  • "Piece of cake." Shutterstock. ...
  • "Scoot over." ...
  • "Put lipstick on a pig." ...
  • "Break a leg." ...
  • "Knock on wood." ...
  • "Not a big fan." ...
  • "It's not rocket science." ...
  • "Break a bill."
Aug 10, 2018

What is the other America Michael Harrington quotes? ›

America has the best-dressed poverty the world has ever known. To be sure, the other America is not impoverished in the same sense as those poor nations where millions cling to hunger as a defense against starvation.

What is a famous American freedom quote? ›

Bookmark these quotes, so you can have them on hand long after your Fourth of July party wraps.
  • "Freedom lies in being bold." ...
  • "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." ...
  • "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
Jun 29, 2022

What is the famous quote in the world? ›

"I have a dream." - Martin Luther King Jr.

What was The Other America in the 1950s? ›

For many Americans, the 1950s were a time of unprecedented prosperity. But not everyone experienced this financial well-being. In the “other” America, about 40 million people lived in poverty, untouched by the economic boom.

What is American slang for hello? ›

'Hey' one of the most common greetings in the US that can also be used in the plural, as in: “Hey guys” and “Hey ya'll” (ya'll is used in many of the southern US states as a plural “you all” form).

What is the most American accent? ›

New York City English

According to the renowned American linguist William Labov, the New York accent is often perceived as the “most American” as it's the one that appears all the time in popular culture. Like it happens in Boston, New Yorkers tend to drop their r's and change the quality of vowels.

Why do American girls say like so much? ›

Recent studies have suggested that the word might also have a social function, acting as a cue to seem informal and friendly, another reason why it's so prevalent among young girls. Over the years, the way we use like has been used as a prime example of how younger generations are destroying the English language.

What is the other America in which Harrington speaks? ›

The other America, the America of poverty, is hidden today in a way that it never was before. Its millions are socially invisible to the rest of us. No wonder that so many misinterpreted Galbraith's' title and assumed that "the affluent society" meant that everyone had a decent standard of life.

What was the goal of Michael Harrington's book The Other America? ›

Harrington sought to convince his readers that poverty was a condition not easy to shed. Everything in the lives of the Other Americans conspired to keep them in poverty. Outside intervention by the federal government was necessary to improve their condition.

What is a famous line from Stranger things? ›

This Is Not Yours To Fix Alone. You Act Like You're All Alone Out There in the World, but You're Not. You're Not Alone.”


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4. Ordinary Americans: The Civil Rights Movement
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