Not many of my friends and colleagues know it, but I published a book in 2015 titled On Freedom and Revolt: A Comparative Investigation under Xulon Press. You can purchase my book online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble and through my own website https://onfreedomandrevolt.com/
In my book On Freedom and Revolt, I examined the works of the writer and philosopher Albert Camus and Baptist minister and social activist Martin Luther King Jr. I compared their writings and found out both men are alike in many ways.
As I voraciously read their works, interiorized their struggles, and was captivated by their ideas, it dawned upon me that they have an uncanny connection despite being poles apart doctrinally and politically.
Both men won the Nobel Prize. Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his role in combating racism through nonviolent resistance.
Camus and King were both men of the turbulent times.
Camus, who was born to French parents in colonial Algeria, was exposed to the inequalities between the Europeans, who were mainly French, and the native Algerians, who had no citizenship under French law. He was also aware of the oppression that workers experienced in East Germany, Poland, and Hungary, which were all occupied by the Soviets.
King experienced discrimination early in his youth and lived through racial inequality and prejudice. He was arrested multiple times for leading campaigns against racial segregation and economic injustice. He also spoke against racial discrimination in employment and housing, police brutality, and American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Both men were true witnesses of their times – in the sense that they were both no silent witnesses. Rather, they were active participants in the upheaval of society. They set out to do things they could do to eliminate the injustices they perceived in their lifetime. They acted against the evils of their times in ways or roles that befitted their talents, vocations, and aspirations.
Camus, an atheist, and King, a Christian, were both united by their universal love for man. They used their gifts for the greater good by putting themselves at the service to mankind. They stand as an inspiration in the fight against tyranny, oppression, and all other forms of injustice.
My book could not have come at a better time. If you have been watching the news over the past few days… or acquainted with the history of the past few years, you will know what I mean. You will understand why I wrote On Freedom and Revolt.
I would be remiss, as a teacher, education leader, church worker and community leader, if I did not write a book such as On Freedom and Revolt.
I would be remiss, as a Christian, foreign languages teacher, published author, and civil rights worker, if I did not introduce Camus and King to the new generation. I would have failed to live a life worthy of my calling… of the gift received if I did not publish such a book.
Being West Virginia State University National Alumni Association’s “Alumnus of the Year” for 2007 is akin to being a Nobel Prize laureate. I view my award as both recognition and encouragement: recognition of exceptional works so far, and encouragement for even more. This recognition carries a responsibility to continue contributing to the community.
I could also say that I share a connection with Camus and King, both among the heroes who are well-remembered around the world. It is by writing On Freedom and Revolt that I spread their legacy. I pray I could do more.
My dear readers, I invite you to read my book On Freedom and Revolt, discuss it, and decide for yourselves whether their thoughts and arguments make sense today. If they do (they do because their ideals are timeless), then I exhort you: make their struggles yours and fight for change.