Tag Archives: Martin Luther King Jr.

The Genius of the Playboy Interview

Germaine Greer gave an interview to Playboy in 1973 in which she skewered the magazine: "I'm against showing girls as if they were pork chops." (The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Hugh Hefner was a complicated individual whose notions of sexuality and human relationships were at once woke and predatory, who stumbled upon a brilliant idea at a time when American culture was milquetoast. A loss of identity in the 1950s, particularly among men, was palpable for a generation who no longer had a war to fight. It took a magazine that paired the mind and the body, high culture and naked women, to shake the male from his slumber. Read more…

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Martin Luther King Jr. was many things — a radical, a moderate, a peacekeeper, a hellraiser, a father, a husband, a crusader against the evils of capitalism, a proponent of love and also revolution. He was a man known to be deeply sensitive, sometimes misogynist, often depressed, blisteringly funny. He was all of these things and more. And like so many brothers and sisters before and since, his beautiful and rich mahogany tones have been flattened to the matte black of the history books that paint him as the friend of well-meaning whites and the moral opposition of angry blacks. And like King, we as black people are so much more than white supremacy would have us believe.

Who and what are we really commemorating on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Writing in The Establishment, Ijeoma Oluo unpacks the myriad ways Dr. King’s story has been softened and re-written to weaken black activism and bolster white supremacy.

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Seven Stories for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Below are seven stories about (or by) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., exploring different facets of his life and legacy.

“Alex Haley Interviews Martin Luther King, Jr.” (Alex Haley, Playboy Magazine, January 1965)

King sat down for a series of interviews with the author Alex Haley shortly after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. They were edited and compiled into one interview that ran in the magazine the next year, which—according to The Daily Beast—was the longest interview King ever gave any publication. Read more…

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Stint as an Advice Columnist for Ebony Magazine

From September 1957 to December 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. penned a monthly advice column for Ebony magazine. The “Advice for Living” column addressed a wide array of subjects, from race relations to interpersonal relationships. Below is an excerpt from the September 1957 issue of Ebony: Read more…

“Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” plus other MLK-related speeches and interviews can be found in the #Longreads archive.

Photo via Seattle Times.