Martin Luther King's legacy offers roadmap for today's political candidates

Harry Boyte, co-director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio on the political and social implications of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, and his legacy 40 years later.

"I think we need to make more complicated, richer, the images of King. Instead of a Moses figure, I think he's better understood as a Nehemiah type of figure...Nehemiah was the Old Testament [biblical] leader who...was a different kind of leader, a leader who doesn't do things FOR people and doesn't command armies to do things, but actually calls people and involves himself in the work. And that was definitely King's style."

Boyte linked King's organizing methods with opportunities for a different kind of politics, and cited David Brooks's April 4 New York Times column, The View From Room 306, in which Brooks says Dr. King's legacy is "a model of how to repair the social fabric."

Listen to the hour-long interview here.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs