Beloved Communities

Answer these two questions Each about 400-500 words 1. As you read Dr. King’s essay (IN A WORLD NOW IN A WORLD NOT), what do you learn about Beloved Community? What else stands out to you? Why do you think so? 2. Based on King (essay), Baldwin (lecture), the documentaries (Eyes on the Prize: “No Easy Walk 1961-1962 (Video 40:20-56:35), and your experiences, how would you define Beloved Community? BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT: In “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity,” published in 1963, James Baldwin concludes that, “it is too easy to admire a Christian minister [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], especially if you take no responsibility for what’s happening to him or to those people that he tries to represent.” As it turns out, also in 1963, Dr. King directly addressed Baldwin’s point about responsibility. In “In a Word: Now,” published in the New York Times Magazine, Dr. King states, “Any plan for the future…will have to sweep barriers away” (King “Now” large print). Throughout his essay, Dr. King writes about the barriers and also proposes long-term solutions to envision a better world. In sermons, speeches, and other writing from the late 1950s and early 1960s, Dr. King described this vision as Beloved Community , “a society in which all men will be able to live together as brothers and respect the dignity and worth of all human personality (King “Address Delivered at the Montgomery Improvement Association.”). In “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity” and “In a Word: Now” Baldwin and King bear witness to the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement, even as they work to imagine a more sustainable future. NOTE #3: In the introduction to “In a Word Now,” Dr. King quotes the 19th Century French writer, Victor Hugo, whose work addressed the struggles of poor and working class people in France. In the 21st century, Hugo’s 1862 novel Les Miserables served as inspiration for a musical in the 20th century (1980 in French; 1985 in English), and for an American movie in 2012.  NOTE #4: In his essay, Dr. King refers to the FEPC, which stands for the Fair Employment Practices Committee.

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