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Martin Unchained: MLK Jr. if the South Had Won the War

Askia Muhammad | 1/16/2013, 11:38 a.m.

I reckon that Martin - like Nat who was hanged in November 1831; like Gabriel Prosser who lived from 1776 to 1800; like Denmark Vesey who lived until 1822; like David Walker who lived until 1830; like Frederick Douglass who lived until 1895; like Henry McNeal Turner who lived until 1915; and like Michael King (Martin Luther King Sr.) who was born in 1899 - I reckon that Martin's life would have been an extension of the lives of those courageous, spiritual men, like shingles on a roof.

But instead of the non-violent path which his life followed in the United States of America - a land of laws and not men - I reckon that in the Confederate States of America where no law protected men like Martin from becoming the property of other men, Martin's life would have known no such non-violent shackles. Indeed, I reckon, "some great purpose in the hands of the Almighty" would have certainly given us "Martin Unchained," a man like Nat Turner.

Decades ago, Dr. John Henrik Clarke explained the ethos of Nat Turner, of "Martin Unchained," had he lived in my Confederate America. "Once you are enslaved and once you are in servitude you have no moral obligation to the people who have enslaved you. In enslaving you, they have freed you of all moral obligations because the nature of their enslavement of you says that you are without humanity, without manhood, without womanhood, without dignity and anything you do to get those things back is morally justified." That's my Martin Unchained.