What Made Martin Luther King, Jr. So Successful? Books and Bridges

In his presentation, “Inescapable Networks: Martin Luther King, Social Justice, and the Necessity of the Grassroots,” Historian Joseph Stuart will explain how everyday people made the civil rights movement possible. Through an examination of the life and career of Martin Luther King, Jr., he shows that the celebrated preacher was most effective when he helped guide already-existing local movements. Stuart also highlights the ways in which King's political goals fell short when his projects expanded beyond the aims shaped and fought for by average people galvanized by grassroots networks. Such alignment with common folks is especially important for social justice groups to remember today. In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, King expressed a similar spirit of interdependence when he said: “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

A Q&A and refreshments will follow. The lecture is free, open to the public, and made possible by a grant from Utah Humanities.

This event is organized by Books & Bridges — a community institute of ideas and conversation. Our mission is to facilitate discussion on the best of human thought. We explore the wisdoms of the world and apply them to modern life. We have no political, religious or ideological affiliation. In a society divided by uncivil discourse, the beauty of the humanities—novels, history, philosophy, poetry, ethics and epics—lifts us to our better angels. In our busy world we need space for friends and fellow learners to do a little more heart-to-heart and mind-to-mind.

Event date: 
Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
607 Trolley Square
Salt Lake City, UT 84102