The Herland Report TV host Hanne Nabintu Herland speaks with DeVon Johnson about the Christian preacher Martin Luther King who upheld values of non-violence in his relentless pursuit for civil rights for all.
We recently sat down with reverend Devon Johnson, discussing the current level of divisiveness in the American public, examining who are good role models. Martin Luther King is definitely a man worth following.
“Martin Luther King is entrenched in my culture. He is a symbol of what I believe we should look like as Christians to influence social change for disenfranchised groups,” says reverend Devon Johnson.
He has traveled America speaking on college campuses and is one of the spiritual leaders in the US, reaching the young minds of modern America.
He states: “Martin Luther King was trying to cause change for the common people in the political realm. This was new for African Americans. We don’t normally have a voice in that realm. King had an advantage that a lot of others didn’t have. He had a voice, he had respect.”
“When he wanted to influence change, people would often want him to orchestrate retaliations. But he came up with this way of doing it non-violently.”
He said: “I want you to tone down your manhood and think about the greater good. You beating up another white person ain’t going to help. You got to find the way strategically.”
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“So, Martin Luther King starts orchestrating boycotts and he started hitting people where it hurts to get the voices heard. It was incredible the way he was doing it.”
DeVon Johnson states: “What makes his life so amazing was the fact that he was able to keep a group of people who had every right to be angry and violent, and he orchestrated a way to have them manage their emotions and think about the greater good.”
“On the other hand, he was having influence and fighting in the political realm and doing whatever he could. So, when you think about Martin Luther King, you don’t just think about the speeches, he was a great orator.”
“I mean, the quotes this man had were incredible. It was those quotes that would keep our people from going off the deep end. He would say “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.”
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Hanne Nabintu Herland is a Scandinavian historian of comparative religions, bestselling author, commentator and TV producer, known from the media for sharp analysis and fearless speech. She was born and raised in Africa, has lived in Europe, South America, in the Middle East, and travelled extensively in Asia.