Many Americans tend to think of Martin Luther King Jr. solely as a leader of African Americans — or, even more narrowly, of southern blacks. We overlook his worldwide reach and his global vision.
Half a century after King’s death, that vision remains both strikingly relevant and sadly unrealized. Just as King hoped white Americans could simply treat African Americans as human beings, he believed that people across the world ought to view each other as brothers and sisters. In 2018, as a wave of angry nationalism sweeps across the globe and white supremacist movements gain strength, such basic precepts assume a radical cast.
King often pointed out that national boundaries were artificial. In September of 1964, during a visit to Germany, he thrilled audiences in both East and West Berlin with his talk of the need for brotherhood to a people divided by the Berlin Wall.
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