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A UW series centers a more complex discussion of Dr. Martin Luther King

A smiling Martin Luther King, Jr. participates in a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Washington, DC, January 18, 1964.
Yoichi Okamoto
GPA Photo Archive
A smiling Martin Luther King, Jr. participates in a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Washington, DC, January 18, 1964.

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King wrote his last work. A year later he would be assassinated. A University of Wyoming led book discussion series wants to contextualize Dr. King’s last piece for Wyomingites.

“Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community” received mixed reviews upon release. At the time some said it was practical, while others thought King was losing step with the times.

A series at the University of Wyoming is providing free copies of the book to discuss the work in more detail online and on campus October 5th 12th and 19th.

Dr. Frederick Douglas Dixon is with the Black Studies Center at the University of Wyoming and is leading these discussions.

“I just don't believe that there's a lot of sophisticated understanding of Dr. King, I think there's an overarching understanding attached to a national and global understanding, which is simplistic, and it does not bear witness to the layered nuances of Dr. King's legacy,” said Dixon.

Dixon said there will be guest historians, political scientists, and scholars from around the country adding to the discussion.

“And it gives us this wider lens to be able to control this idea of the narrative, and challenge what the narrative is now by adding to it, making it wider and more complex. So, it benefits Wyoming because they're very limited avenues to discuss Dr. King,” he said.

Free copies of “Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or community” are available at the Multicultural Center.

Guest presenters for the Oct. 5 discussion include Dr. Christina R. Rivers from DePaul University and Dr. M. Keith Claybrook Jr. from California State University Long Beach.

The Black Studies Center and Multicultural Affairs are going to be hosting more analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King's work into the Spring of 2023.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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