04 April 2008

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have posted on the mugshots discovered in the records of the Montgomery Alabama Sheriff's Department from the era of the bus boycott. You may recognize the man pictured in this item from the collection. Lest we forget, before we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. we treated him like a criminal.

And lest we adopt an overly narrow view of King's politics let's remember that he was in Memphis in April 1968 to work with striking sanitation workers and that he was at the time also speaking forcefully against the Vietnam War. (This photograph is from 3 April 1968, the evening before he was shot to death.) His politics had evolved beyond just civil rights, crucially important as those are, to encompass broad demands for economic justice and peace.

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Blogger Tom White said...

I wondered what jail this photograph was from. Thanks!

05 April, 2008 16:46  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Tom, My understanding is that the mugshot was taken in Montgomery (Sheriff's Dept., I think) and has recently been discovered along with a bunch of others from the same time. If you click through to the earlier post I link to in this one you will find yet another link to the sote with the collection. JJ

05 April, 2008 17:01  
Anonymous Mark Nrw said...

A Jail has no photographs, Sheriff Dept. have!
Many people discovered this photo and published it everywhere...

06 April, 2008 08:45  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Mark, I never claimed to be the only one to post the mug shot. I am using it as a reminder that we have vilified during their own lives those whom we canonize today. That might - only might - get usto think about how we vilify critics of established practices and institutions today. JJ

06 April, 2008 12:18  

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