Michael Honey on Martin Luther King & Social Justice

This Friday, January 21st, Michael Honey will speak on “Revisiting King’s Vision of Labor Rights and Social Justice,” at 3:30pm in Smith 407.

Professor Honey, Haley Professor of Humanities at UW-Tacoma, will discuss how labor history is changing our understanding of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor Honey has just published a new edition of King’s speeches on labor and to labor unions, titled All Labor Has Dignity. In this collection, Dr. Honey draws attention to alliances that King worked to cultivate between the civil rights movement and labor unions., explaining that “people forget that Dr. King was every bit as committed to economic justice as he was to ending racial segregation.”

Honey’s book has attracted widespread critical praise, including this evaluation from eminent American History Professor Eric Foner of Columbia University

“Michael Honey, a distinguished scholar of labor and African-American History, has done a great service by gathering Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches on labor, may of them previously unknown.  He brings to life the King who from the outset of his public career insisted that ‘the evil of economic injustice’ must be combated along with racial inequality, and who saw the effort to eliminate poverty as a natural outgrowth of the civil rights struggle.  This is a more complex King than we celebrate every January, forever frozen on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial delivering his ‘I Have a Dream Speech.’  King’s dream called for nothing less than a radical restructuring of American economic life.”

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