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Grant number like: FZ-231049-15

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Jason C. Sokol
University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH 03824-2620)

Public Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016

The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

A book on the immediate and long-term effects of King's assassination on culture, race relations, and politics in America.

This is a book about the broader historical impact of Martin Luther King's death. It asks how individual Americans – and others across the globe – experienced King’s assassination, in the days, weeks, and months afterward. It shows how his death unleashed a host of different emotions: devastation and despair, pain and guilt, shock and apathy, bitterness and even satisfaction. I also probe the long-term ramifications of King's death, analyzing the ways it transformed race relations and politics in America. For all of the literature on King, the civil rights movement, and the 1960s, no scholar has explored the larger meaning of his death. As a social history of that seminal event, this book offers a fresh perspective on one of the most written-about figures in American life.