Augsburg Fortress

Behind the Public Veil: The Humanness of Martin Luther King Jr.

Behind the Public Veil: The Humanness of Martin Luther King Jr.

What was Martin Luther King Jr. really like?

In this groundbreaking volume, Lewis V. Baldwin answers this question by focusing on the man himself. Drawing on the testimonies of friends, family, and closest associates, this volume adds much-needed biographical background to the discussion, as Baldwin looks beyond all of the mythic, messianic, and iconic images to treat King in terms of his fundamental and vivid humanness. Special attention is devoted to King’s personal insecurities and struggles, his humility and affinity to common people, his delight in pleasant and passionate conversation, his insatiable love for the precious but ordinary things of life, his robust appetite for artfully-prepared and delicious soul food, his enduring appreciation for music and dance, his cheerful and playful attitude and spirit, his abiding interest in games and sports, and his amazing gift of wit, humor, and laughter.

King emerges here as an ordinary human being who enjoyed and celebrated life to the fullest, but was never bigger than life. Here we see the personal qualities of King—as a real, fleshly human being—and also as a man shaped by his social and cultural experiences and locations. This book reclaims the man behind the mythology.

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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506405612
  • eBook ISBN 9781506405629
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 380
  • Publication Date May 1, 2016


Foreword—Frye Gaillard
1. "A Regular Fella": The Boy Named M. L. King Jr.
2. "The Measure of a Man": Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.?
3. "Let Us Break Bread Together": Martin Luther King Jr., Southern Cooking, and the Sociocultural Significance of Food and Eating
4. "Let Our Rejoicing Rise": Music as a Central, Living Element in the Life of Martin Luther King Jr.
5. "His Child's Heart": Martin Luther King Jr.'s World of Play and Sports
6. "To Joy and Mirth": Martin Luther King Jr. and the Gift of Folk Wit, Humor, and Laughter