"A day on, not a day off": transforming Martin Luther King Day (1993–1999)

Daniel T. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Inspired by Martin Luther King's “Drum Major Instinct” sermon, President Bill Clinton signed the King Holiday and Service Act of 1994 and transformed the King holiday into a day of service. By linking the holiday to his community service initiatives, Clinton, and Coretta Scott King, encouraged Americans to continue King's work by helping America's poor through racially integrated service activities. Since the inaugural 1986 holiday, scholars have claimed that King Day abets amnesia more than it encourages remembrance; however, this reform illustrates that the holiday is an evolving and dynamic form of history that can be used to continue the work of the civil rights movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-980
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of American Studies
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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