The Book Corner: “A Testament of Hope” by Martin Luther King Jr.

Sports Editor Richard Pereira reviews MLK Jr.’s “A Testament of Hope” and why his views still live on in today’s society.


Illustration by Michelle Rodriguez.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

“A Testament of Hope” by Martin Luther King Jr. is a book that tells you a recollection of all the writings and speeches that the civil rights leader has done in the time he was alive. 

The exhaustive collection is divided into five parts, with the beginning detailing his philosophical views on why he believed in nonviolence and racial integration, and the ending showing all the books he published throughout his lifetime.

I immediately agreed with everything King said in his writings as soon as I started reading “A Testament of Hope.” There is so much content that anyone can learn a lot from King’s work and dedicated mentality.

The way King believed in nonviolence and wanted people to not only love each other but also respect and understand one another despite differences which clicked with me. He understood that nonviolence was the most effective way to approach radical change against the outrage of violence towards his beliefs. What happened during the Civil Rights Movement was proof of that.

King’s views as a democratic socialist were then expressed, which are not talked about as much as his writings and speeches. It is no secret that King sees his views as more socialistic than capitalist, but what isn’t discussed enough was how open and unafraid he was about it.  

The fact that he had views that went against the political establishment in America and challenged its power showed how courageous King was as a person committed to his values.

In “Where Do We Go From Here,” the last book King published in his lifetime that is shown in “A Testament of Hope,” it goes through King’s perspective on how he wanted the movement to move forward after achieving civil rights and ending segregation.

King did not hold back any punches, he wanted America to help minorities by implementing social programs like a guaranteed income and start transitioning to peaceful times. Becoming more authoritarian and militaristic in its behavior towards everyone will not bring forth the peace needed to progress as a nation. 

Not only that, he understood that to do this, radical change is not only just, but necessary to do what is right to improve the lives of everyone in the country.

It was clear King’s job was not finished after the Civil Rights Act was passed; it was only the first step of a long journey for the Civil Rights Movement. 

What resonated with me the most throughout the book was the type of person King was; a man who treated everyone with love and respect, a leader who remained committed to fighting the struggle of poverty and racism that has oppressed so many people.

King dedicated his life trying to unite everyone together, regardless of skin color, background, and looks; to make the world a better place. There’s a reason why we remember him as the leader of an ongoing movement that has the potential to change lives forever.

It stuck with me because it is the type of person I aspire to be. I don’t want a world that is filled with hate, greed, and violence. What I want is a world where everyone can understand, respect, and help each other when they’re in need, which was the world King wanted to start coming true throughout his life.

Reading through the book made me wonder about a timeline where King was still alive and continued preaching the importance of love, peace, dignity, and the willingness to fight against the struggle for equality and equity not only in America but all over the world.

While small progress to attain equality and equity for marginalized communities continues being made, there is still so much work to be done if we’re ever going to get past that first step.

To understand the importance of King’s work, “A Testament of Hope” is the embodiment of what people need to know about his dedication to making progress.

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.