MLK's Spiritual & Intellectual Father | KCUR

MLK's Spiritual & Intellectual Father

May 15, 2012

We may see Martin Luther King, Jr., as the father of the civil rights movement, but history teaches us that the 'family' around movements has its roots in previous generations.

On this Wednesday's Central Standard, we speak with Randal Maurice Jelks, associate professor of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas. Jelks recently authored Benjamin Elijah Mays: Schoolmaster of the Movement, a full biography of Mays, a grandfather of the civil rights movement.

Mays was referred to by King as his "spiritual and intellectual father." Mays served as the dean of the Howard University School of Religion as well as the president of Morehouse College. Jelks connects his influence to his ability to tie civil rights to Christianity, therefore inspiring future black leaders. In addition to Mays' influence as a mentor, Jelks brings attention to his success as a higher educator.

The University of North Carolina Press's Q&A Session with Jelks
C-SPAN Video of Randal Maurice Jelks Talking About Martin Luther King's Mentors