One of the most important concepts in Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings is the idea of “the beloved community,” the possibility of a society in which people from diverse backgrounds and economic circumstances learn to live together. Conflict in any society, he taught, is inevitable, but it can be resolved through non-violence and a commitment toward equal justice. This presentation will explore MLK’s ideas through the works of Charles Johnson, the National Book Award-winning novelist, who has written extensively about MLK and his philosophy. Together we will consider Johnson’s novel Dreamer (1998), which presents a fictionalized account of King’s summer in Chicago in 1966, and his short story “Dr. King’s Refrigerator” (2005), which imagines a midnight snack in 1954 for the man who was about to lead a Civil Rights revolution.
This program is cohosted by Chandler Museum. This is an in-person event.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Following a career as an English professor, I retired in May 2018 and moved to Tucson. My teaching and research focused on modern British and American literature. Since my retirement, I’ve spent my time taking courses, primarily in anthropology and archeology, and volunteering.