The long arc of history bends towards justice

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Mon, 01/17/2022 - 7:00am

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., with Rabbi Gunther Plaut

Rabbi Gunther Plaut was born in Germany and escaped to the United States in 1935, two years after the Nazi rise to power. He later immigrated to Canada, where he became rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. In March 1963, at Rabbi Plaut’s invitation, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Holy Blossom Temple. During his speech, Dr. King said, “Time is neutral. Time can be used destructively or constructively. We must help time and the time is right now.”

On this Martin Luther King Jr. day, we reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and the work that remains to be done. However long the arc of history, we continue to bend it towards justice.

Voices from the Archive

William McKinney

World War II liberator William McKinney describes the need for communities to come together.

  • William McKinney

    Language: English

    World War II liberator William McKinney describes the need for communities to come together.

  • Liberator Leon Bass on being inspired by Martin Luther King Jr

    Language: English

    Leon Bass, US military veteran, reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and how he was inspired by King’s message of non-violence. Leon was at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 for the March on Washington and he describes his experience of watching Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream,” speech. 

  • Language: English

    Paul Parks talks about witnessing the aftermath of the Holocaust and what it meant to his work in the civil rights movement, including his work with Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Floyd Dade on Civil Rights in America

    Language: English

    Floyd Dade explains the racial segregation of battalions during World War II. He also describes his relations with white soldiers on the battlefield.

Activities available on IWitness for educators

What's Going On?: https://iwitness.usc.edu/activities/2927?idiom=all

Sitting Down to Stand Up: https://iwitness.usc.edu/activities/2399?idiom=all

Representation & the Power of Words: https://iwitness.usc.edu/activities/2398?idiom=all

Meaning-Making / Racism: https://iwitness.usc.edu/activities/2397?idiom=all

1936 Olympics: Race, Politics & Civil Rights: https://iwitness.usc.edu/activities/292?idiom=all

Fighting in the Face of Racism: https://iwitness.usc.edu/activities/454?idiom=all