Martin Luther King: Christmas Message of Hope

On Christmas Eve, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a five speeches in the prestigious Massey Lecture series. He titled the series “Conscience for Change.” These lectures are compiled in both text, as a book, and audio format, as a CD) [The book was re-released as “The Trumpet of Conscience.”] Although these lectures were recorded almost fifty years ago, King’s words still resonate as we continue to come to terms with many of the same issues.

You can also listen to the entire message here (about 1 hour in length and the site requires free registration). What many people forget (or never knew) about King is how radical he really was. In this lecture, he explains that part of the reason people are so upset about riots that had happened recently is that these were attacks on property, which he says, “is symbolic of the white power structure.” Not only is the content of what he says here compelling and contemporary, his oratory is unparalleled by anyone else.


  1. Seattle in Texas

    I hate leaving these thoughts on a holiday post with Dr. King, but it’s all related.

    I don’t know if it’s just here in Texas or the greater South, but Texas has images of white gun carrying cowboy Santas. Like many images of Jesus throughout the nation, Santa too, regardless if he’s carrying a gun or not, wearing winter boots or cowboy boots, wearing his santa hat or cowboy hat, is white.

    With that, wanted to share some of a conversation that has taken place over the last couple of years with relation to the Christmas holiday with some folks down here whose roots go back to slavery here in Texas, and most of whom still live in segegration–be it in Houston or the smaller towns.

    They ask why is it that any black family would want to work hard to get their kids presents, go even broker, then give some old imaginary white man credit for it? On top of it, an old white guy who doesn’t even go near or into the ghettos and forgets about all the poor people anyway. And the red neck santa is up for a whole different conversation…but even less appealing than the regular white santa….

    So some thoughts on the Christmas holiday…. Yes, many of the same issues today that were in place when Dr. King was alive.


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