Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. defines justice as “love correcting that which revolts against love.”

Dr. King made this visionary and audacious declaration at the first mass meeting of the Montgomery Improvement Association at the Holt Street Baptist Church on December 5, 1955, just days after the arrest of Rosa Parks. It was the meeting where Rev. Ralph Abernathy put forward the resolution to initiate the Montgomery bus boycott. The church was located in a black working-class section of the city. Both the sanctuary and the basement auditorium were filled, and an overflow crowd outside listened via loudspeakers. Many reporters, photographers, television crews, and black leaders were present. The meeting opened with two hymns, “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”

King then delivered an address that included this definition of justice as love correcting that which...

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