qotw: MLK’s patience

“For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’…There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.”

The above quote comes from his Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” I chose it because I dislike when people say Dr. King had “patience.” This narrative  is neo-liberal/“post-racial” rhetoric which reframes him to be viewed as docile and implies that if we are patient we will get what we want…one day. It’s not true.

Photo of Martin Luther King Jr
I’ll let you think of the caption. Given the topic, I think it is self-explanatory.:-)

King had enough of the injustices experienced by those who were oppressed. If the Civil Rights Movement leader was patient, he would not have been organizing and protesting. Although some may disagree with his non-violent tactics, MLK along with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and their supporters were not patient in their fight for equality. They were mobilizing and galvanizing for the change they wanted to see. Moreover, in his most cited speech, “I Have a Dream,” Dr. King said, We’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. On August 28, 1963, he definitely stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial to reclaim what was owed.



4 responses to “qotw: MLK’s patience”

  1. Donovan Lloyd Gillespie Avatar
    Donovan Lloyd Gillespie

    Great article

  2. agreed… I’m guilty of being one of those people who stated that he was more “patient” thank Malcolm X… in reality, there were the same and had the same passion… just delivery was just different… the more I read about Dr. King, the more I continue to learn about who he was as a person and not just what he did for the Civil Rights Movement… thanks for this article!

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