April 26, 2005

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community by Martin Luther King Jr.

After taking a week-long hiatus from the book, I finally finished Dr. King''s Where Do We Go from Here:  Chaos or Community.  In the end, I found it to be a worthwhile read.  There are large sections that only provide historical information about the status of the Civil Rights Movement in 1967.  Not desiring to be a scholar of history--unless it relates to American Foreign Policy--I found much of this information still useful as a case study.  This extended case study provides some valuable insights into disappointment (see a previous post), powerful campaigns for change, and economic stratification in modern America.

Up until the last chapter, it appeared Dr. King maintained race as the central issue defining his movement.  However, he closed with a chapter on the importance of realizing economic disparity in order to fix the ills of the world.  A book concentrating solely on how he planned on shifting the movement from one of race to one of economic improvements for all lower income people of America would have proved much more pertinent into the future and relieved some of the racial tensions that exist to this day.  Perhaps if he had lived longer to make changes within the movement, or start a new race-less movement toward economic reforms, the problems that exist today could have been avoided.  At least I now have something to fall back on when some makes a racial comment toward me; or when I see someone spit at the bus driver after refusing to ride the bus because she is white.  I know that even one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement tested the waters of a race-less foray into economic change--hopefully someone will continue his work soon.