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Horace Cort / AP / Mike Cassese / Steve Marcus / Reuters / The Atlantic

King's Death Gave Birth to Hip-Hop

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. led directly to hip-hop, an era of black American culture, politics, and art that is often contrasted with his legacy.

Martin Luther King Jr. lies in
John Lent / AP

Rewriting My Grandfather’s MLK Story

In excavating the story of King’s visit to Harlem Hospital, I uncovered my grandfather’s own fight for civil rights—and realized I’d misunderstood his legacy as a black doctor all along.

King casts his ballot in Atlanta in 1964
Bettman / Getty

‘Let My People Vote’

In June 1965, the Voting Rights Act languished in the House Rules Committee after passage in the Senate. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote this letter to the New York Amsterdam News urging its passage as the first step in ensuring access to the ballot.

illustration with calligraphy reading "Before King Was King"
Lettering by Adé Hogue

The Young Man Who Became a Civil-Rights Icon

Before he led the Montgomery bus boycott or marched on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. was a chain-smoking, pool-playing student at Crozer Theological College just discovering his passion for social justice.