…to confine King’s role in history only to the color line ”” as giant as that challenge is, and as dramatic as King’s contribution was ”” is to reduce his greatness. In one of his final books, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, King showed that race was one part of his broader concern with human relations at large: “This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited … a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together ”” black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Muslim and Hindu … Because we can never again live apart, we must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.”
This ethos, as King’s examples make clear, applies not only to the question of race, but to faith as well. In the same way as the headlines of the 20th century read of conflict between races, headlines in our times are full of violence between people of different religions. Indeed, what the color line was to the 20th century, the faith line might be to the 21st.