OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Michael K. Honey

Portrait of Michael K. Honey

Michael K. Honey is emeritus humanities professor at the University of Washington, Tacoma, and Guggenheim and Radcliffe Institute fellow emeritus. He teaches African American and U.S. labor history. He specializes in work on Martin Luther King Jr., labor and civil rights, and nonviolence studies. His pathbreaking and award-winning books include Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (2007); Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle (1999); Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Southern Workers (1993). More recently, he has published To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice (2018), and Revolutionary Nonviolence: Organizing for Freedom (2022) by James M. Lawson, Jr. with Kent Wong. He is the editor of King speeches supporting labor rights and economic justice, "All Labor Has Dignity" (2011). He directed and produce the film: "Love and Solidarity: Rev. James Lawson and Nonviolence in the Search for Workers' Rights," and is promoting nonviolence education with faculty at Stanford, Vanderbilt, Morehouse, and other universities. A former southern movement organizer, Honey is currently writing a book about those experiences, "They Never Can Jail Us All, A First-Person History."


Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Based on Honey's 2018 book, published 50 years since Martin Luther King's death in Memphis, this presentation provides an overview of King's racial and economic justice philosophy, his role in social movements, and how the legacy of King's work remains immediately relevant today, accompanied by slides, music, and discussion with the audience of current movements for change.
This presentation combines Honey's film, "Love and Solidarity" (38 minutes), with his co-writing with Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. and Kent Wong, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Organizing for Freedom (2022). This lecture-discussion highlights how nonviolence philosophy and tactics can be used to promote labor, freedom and social movement organizing in the age of Black Lives Matter.