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Digital Subscriptions > Boston Review > 50 Years Since MLK (Winter 2018) > Editors’ Note

Editors’ Note

APRIL 4, 2°18, marks the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death. Once condemned by the head of the FBI as the “most notorious liar in the country,” King is now widely celebrated as a national hero, a martyr to an inspiring dream about our country’s largest possibilities.

In his lead article in this issue, Brandon M. Terry—political theorist and guest editor—underscores the costs of such canonization. In death King has come to be seen as an essentially conservative figure— a moralist who called Americans to keep faith with the country’s exceptional values. No surprise then that “many younger Americans greet his name with suspicion.”

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“Genius. This extraordinary issue reminds us that Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of America’s most radical philosophers. Forget the dream, he called for a revolution in values that stood in stark contrast with the nightmare of neoliberalism, permanent war, and state-sanctioned violence. These essays will inspire a new generation to return to the source.” —Robin D. G. Kelley