Martin Luther King

Island of Disenchantment
September 29, 1997

Charles Lane: Haiti's deteriorating democracy.

The Bloods and the Crits
December 09, 1996

During the past decade, an academic movement called critical race theory has gained increasing currency in the legal academy. Rejecting the achievements of the civil rights movement of the 1960s as epiphenomenal, critical race scholars argue that the dismantling of the apparatus of formal segregation failed to purge American society of its endemic racism, or to improve the social status of African Americans in discernible or lasting ways. The claim that these scholars make is not only political; it is also epistemological.

The Contract with K Street
December 04, 1995

When 367 Republican House candidates signed the Contract with America on September 27, 1994, they pledged to create "a Congress that is doing what the American people want and doing it in a way that instills trust." As they stood on the steps of the Capitol, Texas Representative Dick Armey declared, "[W]e enter a new era in American government. Today one political party is listening to the concerns of the American people, and we are responding with specific legislation.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
March 01, 1993

Derrick Bell has a flair for the dramatic exit. The one that made him famous was his highly publicized decision in 1990 to leave his tenured position at Harvard Law School, where he had been the first black scholar ever hired. Bell quit after Harvard refused to offer tenure to a black woman he supported. But Bell had done the same thing at the University of Oregon six years earlier. And he had made the same threat at Harvard ten years before that. And back in 1959 he had quit the first job he ever held, at the Justice Department, over a matter of principle.

Talk Talk
February 15, 1987

A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, Volume 4; Se-Z edited by R, W, Burchfield (Oxford University Press, 1,454 pp., $150) The Story of English by Robert McCrum, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil (Elisabeth Sifton Books/Viking, 384 pp.,$24,95) American Talk: The Words and Ways of American Dialects by Robert Hendrlckson (Viking, 231 pp., $18.95) Take My Word For It by William Safire (Times Books, 357 pp., $22,50) A Word or Two Before You Go ..

Uneasy Holiday
February 03, 1986

There was always a special patriotism to the speeches of Martin Luther King. No other American orator could bring audiences to their feet by reciting three full stanzas of "My Country, Tis of Thee." From there he often soared across the American landscape in perorations calling on freedom to ring "from the granite peaks of New Hampshire . . . from the mighty Alleghenies of Pennsylvania . . . from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado . . . from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee! Let it ring . . .

Celebrating Dr. King's Birthday
January 30, 1984

In his belated support for a day honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan predictably recalled the man as an inspiring—and innocuous—advocate of good will, brotherhood, and harmony. Such a carefully cropped portrait of Dr. King has gained wide popularity, perhaps because it enables the nation to create a comforting icon out of the career of a political iconoclast.

"What Shall Become of His Dreams?"
January 01, 1970

This piece was originally published on August 24, 1968. William Faulkner located Mulberry Street so precisely and described its major industry so vividly in one of his early novels that lustful visitors from the rural mid-South memorized the passage and used it as their guide to the rows of dingy houses where three-dollar whores did business until the military authorities forced the city to clean up the neighborhood during World War II. Before virtue was imposed, white customers had access to white girls and black girls-in different houses, of course.

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