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Selma to SaigonThe Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War$
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Daniel S. Lucks

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813145075

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813145075.001.0001

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The Second Coming of Martin Luther King Jr., 1966–1968

The Second Coming of Martin Luther King Jr., 1966–1968

Chapter:
(p.169) 6 The Second Coming of Martin Luther King Jr., 1966–1968
Source:
Selma to Saigon
Author(s):

Daniel S. Lucks

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813145075.003.0007

Vietnam so dominated the public discourse that King could not escape it. Throughout 1966, King expressed his disapproval of the war in carefully chosen venues, such as the African American press and his regular sermons at Ebenezer Baptist Church. In early 1966, King went to Chicago to tackle racism in education, housing, and employment and to ameliorate the blight of the urban ghettos. His frustration with urban political machines in the North matched his dismay over the war's deleterious impact on the poverty program. When he addressed groups of young black men, the issue of the war was paramount. In early 1967, on his way to Jamaica for a sabbatical, he happened to be looking through a magazine that contained gruesome pictures of Vietnamese children with napalm burns, and he felt compelled to speak out. On April 4, 1967, King delivered a withering attack on American policy in Vietnam at Riverside Church in New York City. His long-awaited opposition to the war provoked a spate of criticism, most notably by the liberal establishment. These attacks haunted King, but his eloquent denunciation of the war was a pivotal event of the 1960s.

Keywords:   Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights movement, antiwar movement, African American history

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