And then most of us make a critical mistake, when we begin to talk further about this great man.
Our first mistake is when we call him a Black Leader, or maybe more generously, the leader for Black America. The fact of the matter is, he actually was not either.
King was not a Black leader, but a great leader who happened to be Black. On his larger work, King was even more radically inclusive. In Dr. King's own words he said, "the civil rights movement was about redeeming the soul of America, from the triple evils of war, racism and poverty." Or when he went further and said "the movement was about saving Black men's bodies and White men's soul." In other words, we are all in this together.
Dr. King was one of the few (Black) leaders at the time who was talking to white America, not (principally) Black America. Of course, Black America already knew what King was about, and Black America already knew what their own agenda needed to be.
TIME Magazine had it right when they placed Dr. King on its August 26th, 2013 cover, proclaiming Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be an American 'Founding Father,' and 'the Architect of the 21st Century.'
Interestingly enough, an architect for a century that he would never live to see himself. To quote my friend and Dr. King's daughter, Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of the King Center,"it is quite a leader who mentors people even in death." Quite a leader indeed.
But there are still critical things either we don't know, or don't completely understand. Important things.