“With Selma and the Voting Rights Act one phase of development in the civil rights revolution came to an end. A new phase opened, but few observers realized or were prepared for its implications.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?”
In the winter of 1967, in a modest rented bungalow in the town of Ocho Rios in north Jamaica, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the first draft of “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” the last book he would complete during his lifetime. In it, Dr. King probed the difficult period following the day President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in a special ceremony at the White House. He recounts how a national backlash followed a decade of civil rights work—leading to the murder of civil rights workers and the acquittal of their killers, violent outbreaks in cities like Watts and Chicago, and “an emotional electoral issue” in many parts of the country that ushered in a number of voices who favored segregation.
More than half a century after that moment, we are still asking the question, where do we go from here? And as we celebrate 40 years of honoring Dr. King’s legacy with MLK Week at the U, the University of Utah is answering with an emphatic turn toward community.
Our MLK programming this year includes a week of activities for the campus and community, including the MLK Day Rally and March, a special keynote address, and a MLK 40th Anniversary Gala where both the past and future of this important Utah observation will be celebrated. As we look to the future, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion will envision where we’re going from here and how the University of Utah can continue to affirm Dr. King’s vision by moving us toward stronger communal bonds and belonging.