After reviewing high points of the Black freedom movement’s democratic experience, I further explore the meaning and dynamics of grassroots democracy, looking at race, class, and gender; the common aim of restraining corporate capitalism; the hazards of moral excess, moral certitude, and moral absolutism; and the fuller meaning of community as the heart of social transformation.
Activist historian Stewart Burns, is the only major Martin Luther King Jr. biographer who participated in the Black Freedom Movement, including the 1963 March on Washington. His background includes many years of nonviolent activism organizing for justice and peace that has been enlightened by thirty years studying Dr. King’s leadership and the Black Movement. From forming a high school civil rights committee, to organizing anti-Vietnam War protests and resisting the draft, to protesting nuclear power and first-strike nuclear weapons, to fostering interracial communication at Stanford, Williams, and other colleges, he has devoted his life to teaching and practicing Kingian “soul force.” Dr. Burns is Professor and Chair of Ethical & Creative Leadership, as well as Faculty in Martin Luther King Jr. Studies at Union Institute & University's Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program.