In November and December 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered five lectures for the renowned Massey Lecture Series of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The collection was immediately released as a book under the title Conscience for Change, but after King’s assassination in 1968, it was republished as The Trumpet of Conscience. The collection sums up his lasting creed and is his final testament on racism, poverty, and war.
Each oration in this volume encompasses a distinct theme and speaks prophetically to today’s perils, addressing issues of equality, conscience and war, the mobilization of young people, and nonviolence. Collectively, they reveal some of King’s most introspective reflections and final impressions of the movement while illustrating how he never lost sight of our shared goals for justice. The book concludes with “A Christmas Sermon on Peace”—a powerful lecture that was broadcast live from Ebenezer Baptist Church on Christmas Eve in 1967. In it King articulates his long-term vision of nonviolence as a path to world peace.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was more than the civil rights movement's most visible figure, he was its voice. This book describes what went into the creation of that voice. It explores how King used words to define a movement. From a place situated between two cultures of American society, King shaped the language that gave the movement its identity and meaning. Fredrik Sunnemark shows how materialistic, idealistic, and religious ways of explaining the world coexisted in King's speeches and writings. He points out the roles of God, Jesus, the church, and "the Beloved Community" in King's rhetoric. Sunnemark examines King's use of allusions, his strategy of employing different meanings of key ideas to speak to different members of his audience, and the way he put into play international ideas and events to achieve certain rhetorical goals. The book concludes with an analysis of King's development after 1965, examining the roots, content, and consequences of his so-called radicalization.
From the Trade Paperback edition.