Johnson Speaks on MLK Jr. Day
Jan 16, 2012
Humans have been asking "Who am I?" throughout history.
Dr. Charles Johnson, writer and professor emeritus at the University of Washington, shared how the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reflects interdependence on others for identity.
He spoke at Concordia as part of a campuswide Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. The day included discussions of race, sexuality, civil rights and international politics.
King held that our lives from the time we are born are both relational and social.
"Our lives are inseparably intertwined with others, regardless of race, religion and gender," Johnson says of King.
The challenge of living interdependent lives lies in what King called "drum major instinct." It is the instinct to be first, to lead the parade, to be superior.
Johnson says this need to be first can be applied positively, by trying to be first in areas like love, peacemaking and equality.
While Americans have come a long way in striving for racial equality and social justice, Johnson shared that he often feels misunderstood as a black male and knows that King's movement of nonviolent resistance must continue.
"Freedom is never guaranteed forever," Johnson says. "We have to fight for it."