Martin Luther King Jr.‘s last book. It feels like a last book. Where Do We Go From Here reflects on what has happened and explains how his philosophy is not easy but is worthy. King makes clear what he thinks about rioting and Black Power and poor white people. He is careful with his language and thoughtful in his analysis. His problem with black nationalism lies partially in its rhetoric. Black people can’t stand completely alone in a multiracial society. That is a fact of America. Getting non-black people excited and included in the struggle is vital actually. They have to be a part of the revolution.
It’s the same logic behind non-violent direct action. You need people, then more people. Bigger groups recognizing how they connect. That’s how you uproot a system. So like when people say he was so peaceful and so angelic, I just have to step in and be like this man got arrested 29 times. Filled the jails. Put kids in the protest. Stopped traffic. Held meetings. Talked to crowds in front of his house. He was about action every day. His books are a vessel for his technique. This is how and why you do it. This is what works and what doesn’t. Non-violent direct action doesn’t mean don’t protect yourself from violence in regular day life. It means planning a protest that strategically exposes the truth and uses it as leverage for social change.
I really liked his focus on poverty in this book. There are more poor white people than poor black people, by the numbers. King believes in showing the overlap and making people see their own oppression. The truth is that whiteness oppresses white people too. Race is about money. It was designed to separate. And in exchange for just average treatment in society, white people help police non-white people (for free). King’s work shows the opportunity to free everyone. Seek the greater good. I mean, by the end, bro is calling for universal basic income that would adjust with inflation. That’s how he was coming and when you know that, it makes sense why people wanted to take him down.
Best line: Learn to refuse crumbs (King 158).