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The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and…
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The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (edition 2018)

by Jason Sokol (Author)

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151973,493 (4)1
"A vivid portrait of how Americans grappled with King's death and legacy in the days, weeks, and months after his assassination On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. At the time of his murder, King was a polarizing figure--scorned by many white Americans, worshipped by some African Americans and liberal whites, and deemed irrelevant by many black youth. In The Heavens Might Crack, historian Jason Sokol traces the diverse responses, both in America and throughout the world, to King's death. Whether celebrating or mourning, most agreed that the final flicker of hope for a multiracial America had been extinguished. A deeply moving account of a country coming to terms with an act of shocking violence, The Heavens Might Crack is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand America's fraught racial past and present"--"On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. At the time of his murder, King was a polarizing figure--scorned by many white Americans, worshipped by some African Americans and liberal whites, and deemed irrelevant by many black youth. In The Heavens Might Crack, historian Jason Sokol traces the diverse responses, both in America and throughout the world, to King's death. Whether celebrating or mourning, most agreed that the final flicker of hope for a multiracial America had been extinguished. A deeply moving account of a country coming to terms with an act of shocking violence, The Heavens Might Crack is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand America's fraught racial past and present"--… (more)
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Title:The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Authors:Jason Sokol (Author)
Info:Basic Books (2018), 352 pages
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The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by Jason Sokol

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April 2018, marked fifty years since the murder of Martin Luther King on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. There to give support to a garbage workers strike, in his clear, telling speech, he predicted his death. Extensively researched, this author outlines the events occurring after King's assassination. In a majority of American major cities, riots broke out wherein shooting and looting reigned as buildings and entire city blocks were set on fire.

Before his death, King seemed to change his direction from Civil Rights to focus on the travesty of Viet Nam. A year before his death, from the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York City, King implored America politicians to enact bills to spend money on feeding their poor instead of raining deadly chemicals down on innocents in a foreign land. King spoke of an increasingly vile, morally-lacking society. America was in trouble and going downward more rapidly than any could predict.

Advocating for jobs and housing for the poor, King's speeches became increasingly caustic. When he walked with those working in the sanitation field, chaos and looting occurred on a large scale. This, his opposition noted, was nothing new -- King fostered violence where ever he went.

While the joy of the previous passing of the Civil Rights Act occurred, increasingly, President Johnson put distance between himself and King as King threw volley after volley of criticism of a war that should not have started, and could not be won.

Many believed that King was nothing more than a rabble-roser, who created crime, looting and violence where ever he was. Post his receipt of the Noble Peace Prize, even those who counted themselves as members of his team, felt his ego was increasingly out of control.

And, as his control slipped, no longer was the focus on passive dis-obiedence, now instead, there was a loud call for militancy. Instead of hope and love, the call for violence on the white man rang throughout American as Malcolm X and Stokley Carmichael were able to lead a majority of disenfranchised poor who were weary of the wait. And, throughout America as the rift between black and white grew, the cities burnt.

The author does an incredible job in outlining how King's legacy of hope and love, grew to be a sharp focus on the black who blamed the white man for killing King, while the white majority continued the chasm of meeting in the middle.

Four Stars! ( )
1 vote Whisper1 | May 27, 2018 |
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