Joachim Prinz and Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jews in the Civil Rights Movement

This weekend we honor civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr, who helped pave the way for a new era of racial integration in America. But he didn’t do it alone. In honor of MLK Day weekend, enjoy a sampling of our past year of special coverage on Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, online and in print. When Freedom Summer Came to Town In July/August, Marc Fisher of The Washington Post brought us on a journey back to Hattiesburg, Mississippi in the year of 1964. During that long, hot summer, the Jews of Hattiesburg met their northern cousins on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement—and the two didn’t always get along. Civil Rights Act Turns 50 Reader David Goldstick recalls his experience defending the Freedom Riders as a young attorney just after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Reader...

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Lee White

Reader-Submitted Stories of Jews and Civil Rights

In honor of the yearlong anniversary of America’s historic Civil Rights Movement, Moment is collecting and sharing stories about Jews' role in the movement. Here are two more, submitted by our readers. Responses have been edited and condensed for clarity. The Speech that Spurred the Voting Rights Act Murray White, son of Lee C. White, advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson “My father was first and foremost a Kennedy man. After the assassination, a number of JFK’s close personal friends and staffers left, and my father was also considering leaving. But in a meeting with the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, Johnson said to him, 'I need you more than Kennedy needed you.' Under Kennedy, he had been assistant special counsel; under Johnson he was elevated to the position of special counsel. He was the White House’s...

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