The Word of the Lord Is Upon Me: The Righteous Performance of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Word of the Lord Is Upon Me: The Righteous Performance of Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Jonathan Rieder
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674046986

ISBN-13: 9780674046986

Pub. Date: 03/15/2010

Publisher: Harvard

“You don’t know me,” Martin Luther King, Jr., once declared to those who criticized his denunciation of the Vietnam War, who wanted to confine him to the ghetto of “black” issues. Now, forty years after being felled by an assassin’s bullet, it is still difficult to take the measure of the man: apostle of peace or angry prophet;…  See more details below

Overview

“You don’t know me,” Martin Luther King, Jr., once declared to those who criticized his denunciation of the Vietnam War, who wanted to confine him to the ghetto of “black” issues. Now, forty years after being felled by an assassin’s bullet, it is still difficult to take the measure of the man: apostle of peace or angry prophet; sublime exponent of a beloved community or fiery Moses leading his people up from bondage; black preacher or translator of blackness to the white world?
This book explores the extraordinary performances through which King played with all of these possibilities, and others too, blending and gliding in and out of idioms and identities. Taking us deep into King’s backstage discussions with colleagues, his preaching to black congregations, his exhortations in mass meetings, and his crossover addresses to whites, Jonathan Rieder tells a powerful story about the tangle of race, talk, and identity in the life of one of America’s greatest moral and political leaders.
A brilliant interpretive endeavor grounded in the sociology of culture, The Word of the Lord Is Upon Me delves into the intricacies of King’s sermons, speeches, storytelling, exhortations, jokes, jeremiads, taunts, repartee, eulogies, confessions, lamentation, and gallows humor, as well as the author’s interviews with members of King’s inner circle. The King who emerges is a distinctively modern figure who, in straddling the boundaries of diverse traditions, ultimately transcended them all.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674046986
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
03/15/2010
Pages:
408
Sales rank:
438,826
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

The Artistry of Argument     1
Inside the Circle of the Tribe
The Geometry of Belonging     21
Brotherhood and Brotherhood     32
Backstage and Blackstage     50
Race Men and Real Men     64
The Prophetic Backstage     75
Son of a (Black) Preacher Man
Flight from the Folk?     91
Homilies of Black Liberation     110
Raw and Refined     131
King in the Mass Meetings
Beloved Black Community     158
The Physics of Deliverance     179
The Rationality of Defiance     199
The Courage to Be     219
Free Riders and Freedom Riders     237
Crossing Over into Beloved Community
Artifice and Authenticity     254
Practicing What You Preach     267
Validating the Movement     286
The Allure of Rudeness     302
Black Interludes in the Crossover Moment     318
Notes     339
Index     383

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