The King's Two Bodies Analysis

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Martin Luther King Jr was a Baptist minister and social activist who was at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the United States circa mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. Through his courageous endeavors to combat the racism prevalent in American society, King played a crucial role in abolishing local segregation of African American residents in the South and further localities across the country. Furthermore, his activities led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This made his contributions to the civil rights movement immeasurable; as recognised by many accolades, such as the awarding of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

Regardless of his death by assassination in April 1968 Martin
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Memorial and the Politics of Collective Memory are “central signifiers that define the meaning and impact of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and thus the status of race relations and race politics since that time” Outlining that King has been signified as a myth to display the progression of neoliberalism within the United States. Within Ernst Kantorowicz’s “The King’s Two Bodies” , writes what they reference to as a “halo of perpetuity,” accounting that “we often find the halo bestowed on such figures as might impersonate a supra-individual idea or general notion.”

In this example, King’s now fictionalised persona is utilised to represent the notion that the United States in present day is a “post-radical” nation where concerns about race equality have been dislodged by neoliberal government authorities. Evidence of this haloing/mythologising is found in the progressive nature of popularity polls since the 1960’s. In August 1966 King was viewed favourably by 33% percent and unfairly by 63% of Americans
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Creation of King’s mythology arising from his oratory, has lead to the creation of his legacy immensely. King doing so through his demonstrations and sermons alike took on the front of an actor in the most literal sense featuring sermons devoid of discussion of private life or feelings. Even expressing himself as written in “The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America” by Richard Lischer stating “these sermons do not convey explicit revelations of his "personality.” insisting that the mythology of King’s personality originated from his own fabrication of

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