Obama and the Kings

This essay from The Nation on “Obama and King” — which would have been better titled “Obama and the Kings,” as in Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. — is a week old but it’s must reading in preparation for Obama’s Thursday speech, which will be given on the 45th anniversary of MLK, Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech. Writes Adele Oltman, author of a new book called Sacred Mission, Worldly Ambition: Black Christian Nationalism in the Age of Jim Crow: “Obama has not been shy about encouraging Americans to associate him with Martin Luther King Jr. and the modern civil rights movement. Although the two men signify how much our world has changed in forty-five years, there are manifest differences between them that are worth recognizing. At times, Obama evokes a Christianity that in this day and age resonates more with the conservative Southern black Baptist theology of Martin Luther King Sr.”