Font Size
public domain
The Spiritual Legacy of MLK
January 12, 2018
On his birthday, we find out why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. placed spiritual values at the very center of his effort to transform society.
Reflecting Back January 12, 2018
Our own Maureen Fiedler kicks things off with a personal reflection on what Dr. King meant to her as a young nun in the 1960s. She says that for her, King represented "the best of contemporary Christianity."  Then, we talk to Rev. Dennis Wiley, who fought to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday in the early 80s, and marched in the very first parade in his honor.

Rev. Dennis Wiley, pastor at Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ
Wikimedia Commons
From Reluctant Radical to Moral Powerhouse January 12, 2018
Though he was the son and grandson of ministers, it took a while for Dr. King to come into his own as both a pastor and a revolutionary. Historian Stewart Burns traces King's transformation from cautious intellectual to fiery leader.

And we meet Christopher Murray, a high school social studies teacher who says it's essential to teach young people about the role of religion in American society. He reminds us that religion is not just about beliefs, it's about actions, and that engaging with people who disagree with us can teach us more about ourselves.

Stewart Burns, author of To the Mountaintop: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Mission to Save America: 1955-1968
Christopher Murray, social studies teacher at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md.

A young Martin Luther King Jr. King graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 with a B.A. in Sociology.
 Fortress Press
The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. January 12, 2018
For religious studies professor Lewis Baldwin, prayer was the force behind so much of King’s power, connecting him with his ancestors and giving him strength in the face of tremendous pressure. It was also a source of deep inspiration for his followers, convincing them to leave the pews and hit the streets.

Lewis V. Baldwin, author of Never To Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Move On Up a Little Higher: A Tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture January 12, 2018
Just a stone’s throw from where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech, there's a striking landmark--one that people are lining up around the block to see. It’s the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We sent producers Ruth Morris and Abigail Holtzman to have a look at the museum's many artifacts centered on faith, from Harriet Tubman's delicate lace shawl to a striking 1961 painting by Charles White, Move on Up a Little Higher.

Yolanda Pierce, Director of the Center for African American Religious Life at the NMAAHC
Tulani Salahu-Din, Museum Specialist at the NMAAHC

"For me, this image really encapsulates the richness of spiritual life. It is about dealing with pain, but it is also about hope and faith and the uplifitng of hands." --Yolanda Pierce