Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recently I finished the reading of a great book "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr." written by Clayborne Carson. As this book is based on King's papers, it gives the account of events in his own words. Clayborne Carson played a perfect role in editing it and presenting all his papers in reproducing the chain of events for readers.

This book gives a very fair idea of Civil rights problem and movement in United States. It is unbelievable to imagine that even in late sixties, Black or so called colored people faced so distinct segregation in one of the best democratic country of the world. In one of the event during his India visit, someone introduced him to a gathering of students as "untouchable from the United States" and King was shocked to hear it. I too felt shocked to know, how a race can force another race to born, live and die for many centuries with a believe that they are not worthy of getting an equal opportunity and respect; what others are having privileged of. I have read about Abraham Lincoln on how he fought to end the social evil of Slavery in the States in nineteenth century but I never thought that slavery in the form of segregation could be so deep rooted in American societies even up to sixties of twentieth century. To put things in perspective, the segregation based on race in America in sixties was worse than the caste segregation in India at that time. Now when I compare it with Indian society, we have almost removed the caste untouchablity from our society but a section is still lagging far behind in coming up to ranks of others.

As we all know that King was a great follower of Mahatma Gandhi but this book shows on how he was a great follower of his Non-violent movement as well. I am unheard of any better instance of using Gandhi's non violent ways for any other movement in the world including India. King has successfully used it and demonstrated that non-violent method is more lethal than any arms movement and can produce the positive outcome for sure. In one of the first instance, People of Montgomery boycotted bus for more than one year and preferred to walk with a faith in Martin Luther King's non violent movement, for their rights. The book narrates a number of invoking stories of similar instances when colored people of different part of America could fight for the justice. The book shows on how MLK could achieve his dream of civil rights for colored people in his short but eventful life. Reading his famous speech "I have a dream" is still inspiring.

This book is sometime repetitive of the ideas of MLK and his movement struggle instances but it's a good read and highly recommended. This reveals the life of one of the greatest American and human being, very eloquently. This book is very eye opening for society also to understand the evil inside us. It is unbelievable that Carson presented such a beautiful autobiography out of MLK's papers and sermons.