“Dead Men Make Such Convenient Heroes”: The Use and Misuse of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy as Political Propaganda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In American history and memory, few figures stand as prominently as Martin Luther King Jr. In the minds of countless Americans, he remains the consummate activist for civil rights and social justice. Perhaps the most telling indication of his stature is the manner in which he is called upon, again and again, by proponents of varying political parties and ideologies as somebody who would, were he alive, support their candidacy, position, or initiative. The objective of this article is to document and discuss how the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. has become political propaganda. This is not a partisan effort and will not argue who “got it right” or “got it wrong” in claiming King as a supporter. Nor will it posthumously assign King membership in a political party or align him with a particular ideology. It aims only to present this ongoing history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-331
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Black Studies
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • American politics
  • civil rights
  • Martin Luther King Jr
  • propaganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“Dead Men Make Such Convenient Heroes”: The Use and Misuse of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy as Political Propaganda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this