How Martin Luther King, Jr., Changed American Christianity

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And what MLK’s uniquely Black theology can teach us about the relationship between faith and politics in 2021.

Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce, dean of the Howard University School of Divinity and author of the forthcoming book “In My Grandmother's House: Black Women, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit,” walks Kai through the history of the Black Church and Dr. King’s place in its evolution. And Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church, explains how her own ministry -- centered on love and inspired by King’s message -- attempts to build a new and diverse progressive movement. Her new podcast, Love.Period, debuts on Valentine’s Day.

A special thanks to the New York City Municipal Archives and WNYC’s archivist Andy Lanset for audio recordings of Dr. King.

COMPANION LISTENING:

In Jesus’s Name...We Legislate” (6/13/17)

A court battle over LGBTQ rights in Mississippi reveals the segregationist history of the religious right’s effort to avoid anti-discrimination laws.

Dissent, Dissent, Dissent” (9/20/20)

We reflect on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, including her political roots in a progressive, Jewish tradition.

“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.

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