The Forgotten Socialist History of Martin Luther King Jr.
Goodrich, Matthew Mileshttp://inthesetimes.com/article/20839/martin-luther-king-jr-day-socialism-capitalism
Publisher: In These Times
Date Written: 15/01/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21956
King believed that a multiracial working-class movement was required to overcome the failings of capitalism.
In 1952 a 23-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a love letter to Coretta Scott. Along with coos of affection and apologies for his hasty handwriting, he described his feelings not just toward his future wife, but also toward America's economic system. "I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic," he admitted to his then-girlfriend, concluding that "capitalism has outlived its usefulness."
King composed these words as a grad student on the tail end of his first year at the Boston University School of Theology. And far from representing just the utopianism of youth, the views expressed in the letter would go on to inform Kings economic vision throughout his life.
As Americans honor King on his birthday, it is important to remember that the civil rights icon was also a democratic socialist, committed to building a broad movement to overcome the failings of capitalism and achieve both racial and economic equality for all people.