Faculty Publications

Title

The art & ignominy of compromise: M. L. King, JR., and the MFDP

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Western Journal of Black Studies

Volume

38

Issue

3

First Page

195

Last Page

201

Abstract

Compromise is the warp and woof of the political enterprise, regardless of whether a person or group is operating from a position of strength or weakness. The role of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) during the summer of 1964 exemplifies the centrality of compromise in the negotiation for civil and human rights. In this paper, the stance that Martin Luther King, Jr., took at the Democratic National Convention regarding the seating of the MFDP is explored as an instance of discerning the need for compromise despite the legitimacy of the claims made by the members of the new party as well as of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. King's strong words to the Credentials Committee at the Convention and his forward view of a voting rights bill in the U.S. Congress-coupled with his absorption of the harsh criticisms of those focused on replacing the white delegates-demonstrate both the art and the ignominy of compromise.

Original Publication Date

9-1-2014

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