Martin Luther King Jr.'s Stint as an Advice Columnist for Ebony Magazine

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From September 1957 to December 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. penned a monthly advice column for Ebony magazine. The “Advice for Living” column addressed a wide array of subjects, from race relations to interpersonal relationships. Below is an excerpt from the September 1957 issue of Ebony:

“Question: My wife and I live in Mississippi. Our children are becoming conscious of racial differences. We are Negroes, but we do not want our children to grow up hating white people for the wrongs we suffer. How can we prevent this?

Answer: You should teach your children at an early age that it is both morally wrong and psychologically harmful to hate anyone. Hate does more harm to the hater than it does to the hated. You must stress the fact that the hate and injustice which have been heaped upon Negroes for many years should be met with love and goodwill. Through such wholesome love on the part of Negroes it will be possible to solve the race problem much more speedily and create a society in which all men may live together as brothers. If this attitude gets over to your child at an early age he will grow up with a healthy attitude toward all people.” 

More “Advice for Living” columns—as well as a wealth of other material relating to the life and work of Dr. King—can be found in the digital archives of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.  For further perspective on “Advice for Living,” check out “Martin Luther King Jr., the advice columnist” (Anna Holmes, Washington Post, 2011). Read more on MLK in the Longreads Archive.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Julia Wick is a contributing editor for Longreads.
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