April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Death and How It Changed America

To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.s assassination, Americas most versatile and vital cultural critic reexamines King s importance and influence and the ways in which his death changed America.
April Martin Luther King Jr s Death and How It Changed America To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr s assassination Americas most versatile and vital cultural critic reexamines King s importance and influence and the ways in which hi

  • Title: April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Death and How It Changed America
  • Author: Michael Eric Dyson
  • ISBN: 9781433244872
  • Page: 497
  • Format: Audio
  • 1 thought on “April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Death and How It Changed America”

    1. Racism. Whenever some intellectually gullible juvenile either sees or hears that word, they assume it’s just about basic hatred among different color lines. What’s really striking is that racism is so much more than just a name you give someone or a stereotype you assume upon physical contact; racism is what we’ve inevitably lived upon. In Michael Eric Dyson’s novel, “April 4, 1968;” many undocumented confrontations and truths from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are revealed. W [...]

    2. When I read an incredibly well-written book, I am in awe of the ability to make sharp, creative images with words. Michael Dyson is such an author. I took time to read this fascinating book, not only because I am very interested in the civil rights movement, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s major contribution, but also because it was a very complex subject rendered understandable with the beautiful natural flow of wordsI've read many books which state that the murder of fourteen year old Emmet Till [...]

    3. This is like taking a graduate course from Dyson on the implications of King's death. This is definitely an analysis, and the reader should realize that the writing seems to reflect Dyson's opinion rather than strictly historical fact. The rise of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Barack Obama at the end of the book make for particularly interesting reading. Overall this is a very informative book.

    4. This was a fine book up until the end. It's a light look into the effects of King's life and death on the Civil Rights Movement. I learned some things, especially about King's connections to Jesse Jackson and his influence on Al Sharpton. It also gives a brief summary of the differences in philosophy between King and other prominent black figures, contemporary with King and later. But then Dyson ends it all with an imaginary interview with King, a "what would King say about his death and about t [...]

    5. Dyson looks at how King and other civil rights leaders lived with an awareness of assassination. He makes a case that when King died he was idolized and relegated to the past. This overlooks his human flaws. It also ignores how his work moved to issues of poverty and the Vietnam War during his last year. (Tavis Smiley talks about this in his recent book on King.) Dyson examines how social problems effect African Americans to a great degree now. King's work is not done but goes on. Dyson examines [...]

    6. From the review I posted at :Dyson gives us a good work here, although not his best. He should have subtitled the work, "King's Death as a Theology." For he attempts to use King's allusions to death, predictions of his own death, rhetoric of death, and the death of King itself as paradigms for understanding the post-Civil Rights era race pathos in America: Through racial injustice we are killing American society in general, and African Americans in particular, both literally and metaphorically ( [...]

    7. I am a fan of Dyson’s analysis concerning African American current affairs. In this book Dyson was able to provide some insightful perspective for current day African American existence as reflected through the lens of MLK’s assassination April 4, 1968. These insights include: a new view on the progression of MLK’s political views (his migration from racial equality to economic justice, a MLK perspective on social economic progress for African American’s and African American evolution on [...]

    8. Interesting analysis of MLK Jr's impact before and after his death and how his death immortalized and re-popularized him. I enjoyed the analysis of subsequent leaders of the movement,specifically Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. This was published in early 2008, so it includes some things about President Obama and hopes for the future. I would like to read Michael Eric Dyson's analysis of the Black Lives Matter movement, focusing on the seemingly decentralized leadership style.The imagined intervi [...]

    9. Able to get a closer look at King the man as opposed to the untouchable icon. Dyson's claim that whites want King clawless and blacks want him flawless says much. Dyson fleshes out a man who struggled with depression and publicly admitted it, drank, over-ate, and cheated on his wife. Neither is the slain leader at the center of the book solely a source of reassurance to white who trumpet less racism in individual interactions. By the time he died, Dr. King forcefully opposed the U.S. government [...]

    10. Where this book succeeds is when Dyson writes about Martin Luther King, his humanity, his fears and his vision for the future of America. Dyson rescues King from immortality, reminding his readers of the amazing courage it took to do what he and other Civl Rights workers did and he brilliantly delineates how King's martyrdom has diminished his accomplishments: "But martyrdom also forced onto King's dead body the face of a toothless tiger. His threat has been domesticated, his danger sweetened. H [...]

    11. I was very excited to read this book but was quickly disappointed. Before I knew it we weren’t talking about MLK anymore but endless statistics and I was starting to think what book am I reading again? When we switched back to talking about MLK I was happy. I picked up this book to read about him but I guess I forgot the “and how it changed America” part of the title because again we just started talking about our country in general. No more MLK and then before I know it we’re talking ab [...]

    12. This audiobook was a concise, but insightful read about the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death on American society, in the immediate aftermath and in the years following the assassination. The work analyzes aspects of King's life, and while not providing an in-depth biography, it did highlight some of the challenges King faced in the later part of his life, from the fight against poverty to dealing with a loss of prestige in the late 1960s. If not for the assassination in 1968, it is likel [...]

    13. This was not precisely the book I expected it to be. Rather than a deep take on the circumstances of King's death and the transition in his later years from dreamer to martyr, Dyson spends the majority of this book assessing the state of Black America since King's death. As always, Dyson makes statements that are simultaneously bold, provocative, and beautiful and challenges the reader not to settle for simplified legacies that fail to address the very battles King was fighting and continue to r [...]

    14. A factual account of three biggies in the civil rights movement - MLK, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton - with a brief discussion of Obama. If you've ever heard Dr Tyson speak, the book reads as he speaks. Lots of words crammed in. Dr Tyson is an academic, and he sounds one. The guy knows a lot. I enjoyed the interpersonal accounts of the three men. There is an awkward 'what if' interview at the end of the book. Dr Tyson interviews an 80-yr-old MLK, as if he had not been murdered on the titular dat [...]

    15. The book is mostly historical with a long fictional interview at the end. This book dives into Martin Luther King, Jr's death and the people around his death. People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are both discussed in detail. This book also frames the differences in philosophy between King and other prominent black figures like Malcolm X. The fictional interview at the end drags this book down to a 2 star rating. I'm uncertain why Dyson was compelled to write "what would King say about his [...]

    16. Short Review: This is a scattered book that is on the legacy of King's death more than King himself. There are three interesting mini-biographies of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Barak Obama. And imagined interview with MLK Jr on his 80th birthday and a lot more.There is some really good content, but scattered and not well integrated. This is the third book of Dyson's that I have read this year. The first two The Black Presidency and Tears We Cannot Stop were excellent. This was just okay.My f [...]

    17. Although some of the book provides the history of King's death and subsequent events (as advertised), it meanders a little too much for my taste, diving into examples of inequality and racism in today's society as well as Dyson's critiques of modern black leaders.

    18. An interesting look at Dr. King's life, death, and the consequences of his early death. Dyson begins with a section on how death stalked MLK, both in reality and in his mind, and how the great preacher used his ever-present sense of his own mortality to fuel his work and words. There is also a good deal about how Dr. King's death robbed America, and particularly Black America, of a more direct path toward better racial understanding and relations. Finally, Dyson looks at the lives of King's "suc [...]

    19. To be fair, I'd probably rate this 3.5 stars if such technology were available, but alas simply doesn't allow for such nuance. Having read some MED before, I knew I would be facing minimal facts married to chapters of conjecture but that's what makes his writing so compelling/easy to read. Those looking for a true historical perspective would best look elsewhere. That being said, MED's interpretation/analysis of MLK's death and its subsequent effects on his legacy did a great job of humanizing a [...]

    20. unique black Christian leadership enduring faith love enemies non-violence death of white privilege redemptive suffering bring good out of evil uplift black self-worth, death as life’s common denominator, leave a committed life behind feed hungry clothe visit live where at, labored as servant, Hoover maniacal pursuit as ussr, greatest purveyor of violence my own govt and dems who started Vietnam war, dems and subsidies for rich, systematic humiliation and black discouragement, a tail light vs [...]

    21. Excellent book very well-written. I learned a lot about Dr. King as well as the Civil Rights Movement and the bravery of all those who were involved. Also, there were some little known facts in there about Robert Kennedy, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Additionally, he had some unique viewpoints about the race strategy used by President Obama and dissected the "thick deck of race cards" that have come into play with Obama's rise to power.I have always had such tremendous respect for King and aft [...]

    22. Great idea for an investigation of the last hours of MLKs life, how it unfolded, and whether or not the state was involved.Author went a totally different direction. Book should have been called: "MLKs work, 40 Years Later", which is probably not a book I would read.That said, not only was the title misleading, but the editing (where is this story going?) and the actual writing quality were severely lacking. Seems to be written by a professor of minority studies, rather than a real writer. How d [...]

    23. I had hoped to get a history of Martin Luther King and an analysis of the position of blacks 40 years after King's assassination, and I can't say this book didn't provide that, but it was somewhat dry and parts of it became tedious. Although listening to it on audio was great (the narrator did a fantastic job at recreating King's manner of speech), my mind drifted, especially during discussions about the rhetorical aspects of King's speeches (referring here to the actual study of rhetoric, not r [...]

    24. This is an interesting look at the impact of Martin Luther King's assassination on American politics and racial discourses. April 4, 1968 was published just before Barack Obama won the Democratic presidential nomination, and so now feels very incomplete as an analysis of MLK's legacy. Still, Dyson's consideration of how various leaders have taken on the mantle of charismatic black leader in the years after MLK's assassination is mostly an incisive one, and while more commentary than empirical, w [...]

    25. Very opinionated, but positively thought-provoking. I didn't finish it because the second half went heavily into present-day statistics about blacks and whites- poverty, education, employment, etcwhich is important, but it started to read more like a spreadsheet than a commentary. King's thoughts and fears about his own death, and how they played a role in some of his last speeches (including the "I have been to the mountaintop speech- which was largely improvised the night before his death) wer [...]

    26. As the book opens, a riveting scene is depicted reaching back to Michael Eric Dyson’s personal experience of the assassination of Dr. King as the news reaches across the nation via radio and television. One can feel the intensity of the moment catching you off-guard and rocking your view of the world.That, unfortunately, may perhaps be the highlight of the entire work, as the book goes on to be spottily informative yet highly unfocused. The title has you looking for a read much different than [...]

    27. This was a deep book. Martin Luther King Jr. is an iconic figure in history, and yet the author Michael Eric Dyson writes about the human side of MLK. Capturing the anxiety and fears of standing behind a powerful movement. It was the bullet that killed Martin, but it was the hate and jealousy behind the bullet that killed him. Dyson address inside of the book, has Black America seen the promise land or have we enter into wilderness. Forty years till the year that MLK was assasinated, we have the [...]

    28. Could have been a great book. The analysis of Clinton's use of King to poor bash was good, but otherwise this is the worst kind of American writing. A list of 'great Black artists and writers'? The accusations levelled at Blacks in general and poor blacks in particular warranted a much better critique. Perhaps most importantly, Dyson fails to assess the reasons why a poverty focused King failed to make serious inroads into the urban north. Why was Malcolm X more popular? What was the difference [...]

    29. I really enjoy reading Dyson's work. I find this book rather interesting as Dyson gives the figures and paints a picture of Black life in the past and present. I was disturbed in reading the figures,asking myself questions about my generation in comparision with the dream Dr. King and my parents possibly had for future generations. Was integration really in good thing? If so, this book will make you question alot. Most of all how we have forgotten the least of these the poor,King so often spoke [...]

    30. This book was published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It discusses the progress or lack thereof of the fight for equality for Black Americans. The conclusions reached by the author are not that encouraging. America's progress to the dream envisioned by King isn't doing all that well. The author also looks at the leaders who have attempted to pick up the cause after KingS death. His analysis of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Barak Obama is v [...]

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