Living in a time where social movements come and go, it is easy to forget that the Civil Rights movement, led by Martin Luther King in the first place, sustained itself for nearly a decade and a half. And it did so in the face of all manner of vicious threats and attacks from state and non-state actors. Fair winds and moments of lull were rare. Indeed, the struggle was constant and tumultuous.
What is more, courage and fearlessness combined with a compelling and relatable vision of freedom, strategic depth and acumen, tactical flexibility, and, not least, an appreciation of the imperative of multi-racial unity that find few parallels in our history. Though conditions and challenges are different a half century later, much can still be learned in ways too numerous to mention by today’s political and social activists, if we hope to expand the boundaries of freedom, democracy, and justice.