History Faculty Publications


How African Leaders Betrayed MLK’s Vision after His Death

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

Dayton Daily News


Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 89 years old on this King Holiday; 2018 also marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination. The ideals he stood for far outlasted his life and in an age of growing intolerance, it’s important to examine how far society has gone to implement his vision of social justice, respect, and human dignity.

A globalist, King saw the struggle against racism as global and as part of a worldwide crusade against colonialism and exploitation. He considered racism as the “hound of hell which dogs the tracks of our generation,” adding that “racism and its perennial ally — economic exploitation” were at the root of many of the world’s problems.

King paid attention to Africa, a continent besieged by colonialism, racism and exploitation.

“Africa was one of the most exploited continents in the history of the world,” he wrote. He regularly pointed to parallels between Africa’s struggles against colonialism and the fight against racism in the United States.

Yet almost 60 years after independence, African leaders have betrayed the aspirations and hopes he espoused.


Permission documentation is on file.


Cox Media Group Ohio