JANUARY 18, 2021
Honoring the Achievement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
His message matters now more than ever.
Today we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a historical moment that feels no less fraught than the civil rights era. Dr. King's commitment to nonviolence, his belief in uplifting the poor, and his dedication to fighting injustice by appealing to what is best in our American traditions couldn't be more relevant. We recommend Dr. King's Nobel Prize Lecture as an especially vital text for today, a definitive statement of his philosophy.
"Nonviolence has also meant that my people in the agonizing struggles of recent years have taken suffering upon themselves instead of inflicting it on others. It has meant, as I said, that we are no longer afraid and cowed. But in some substantial degree it has meant that we do not want to instill fear in others or into the society of which we are a part. The movement does not seek to liberate Negroes at the expense of the humiliation and enslavement of whites. It seeks no victory over anyone. It seeks to liberate American society and to share in the self-liberation of all the people."

Hear Dr. King's Nobel Prize lecture, "The Quest for Peace and Justice," here and see his Nobel Prize acceptance speech here.
Whose Civil Rights Movement?
Bob Woodson and Joshua Mitchell reflect on the corruption of a legacy in the Wall Street Journal

"For months, the radical left has been exploiting the country’s genuine concern for fairness to keep blacks in a constant state of agitation, anger and grievance ... The leaders of these movements insist that every inequity suffered by blacks is caused by institutional and structural racism, that they have no power to liberate themselves, and that they will remain oppressed until white people change. Even to raise the issue of what role self-determination plays for blacks earns you the label of 'racist' ... Civil-rights organizations and their leadership, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus, need to wake up before it’s too late."

Bob Woodson and 1776 Unites scholar and Georgetown professor Joshua Mitchell argue that contemporary activists ignore the truly empowering legacies of the civil rights movement in exchange for divisive grievance politics. Wall Street Journal subscribers can read their full essay here.
Watch this Braver Angels panel on finding common ground in a moment of crisis
Last week, Braver Angels brought together 4,500 Americans from differing backgrounds and political ideologies in a unified effort to reflect on current events and to discuss how we can reunify as one nation.

Hear panelists Governor of Utah Gary Herbert, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, Kansas pastor Rev. Franklin Ruff, and a variety of ordinary Americans discuss a way forward. Watch the event here!
The Future of American History Education: What Now?  
1776 Unites scholar and Vertex Partnership Academies co-founder Ian Rowe joins Jane Kamensky, Professor of American History at Harvard University, and Michelle Herczog, History-Social Science Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, to discuss the impact a Biden administration could have on K-12 American history education. Watch the full panel here!
Free For All: American Masterpieces in the Public Domain for 2021
Influential Harlem Renaissance anthology now released from copyright, along with Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
Among those works now free from copyright as of January 1, 2021, is the anthology The New Negro, edited by influential African-American philosopher Alain Locke, collecting writings from transformational black artists and intellectuals like W.E.B. du Bois, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, and many others.

Also newly in the public domain are F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, films from silent-era comedy stars Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton, and music from Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, and Gertrude "Ma" Rainey. See Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain for a complete list!
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