History Alive – Beyond Vietnam: MLK and the Vietnam War

History Alive - Beyond Vietnam: MLK and the Vietnam War

Date(s): Jul 17, 2021
Time: 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
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In his civil rights work, Martin Luther King, Jr. had to keep his thoughts on the peace movement separate from his civil rights work. Or at least he thought so. If anyone remembers King’s peace work, they will often reference his speech at Riverside Church, NYC, April 4, 1967, as the one time he spoke out. Later referred to as the “Beyond Vietnam” speech, it was a full-throated jeremiad against America’s presence in Vietnam. But earlier that winter he drafted a deeply confessional piece titled “A Journey of Conscience” in which he claimed his lukewarm pronouncement in 1965 against the military buildup was no different than the blame he laid at the feet of the “moderate” white voices described in the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. King had registered his objection to the military presence in SE Asia as early as September 1964. This talk examines the evolving position Martin Luther King, Jr. took regarding the war in Vietnam and how his nonviolent campaign at home had a grander vision within American foreign policy.
Our speaker, Dr. Doug Thompson’s teaching and research interests include 20th century American history. He has published an account of 1950s Richmond, VA and the ways that religious persons engaged in the civil rights movement or the political response to it known as Massive Resistance. Currently he is working on a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the war in Vietnam.
$5 for DPT members. $10 for non DPT members. No reservations required.