An Unbroken Bond: The Role of Africa in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Liberation Thought and Praxis

This essay recasts the development of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sociopolitical thought and activism in light of an African-centered reading of history.  The paper examines the role of Africa (diasporic and continental) in shaping MLK’s World House ecumenical theology and socio-ethical philosophy by first, relating his cultural and intellectual foundations to African diasporic cultural history.  Second, the author discusses King’s engagement with Dalit subjectivity relative to Gandhian philosophy. Finally,  the paper asserts that his African engagements were the primary form of internationalist World House praxis. The author’s African-centered analytical framework seeks new ways of engaging King in the context of African cultural identity and sociopolitical thought.

“Our heritage is Africa. We should never seek to break the ties, nor should the Africans.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr., (January, 1965) 

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