TO MILLIONS of admirers around the world, the disclosures about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his doctoral dissertation cast a shadow on his memory; a shadow should not, however, be confused with a cloud.
Scholarship rests on truth and trust, which is why scholars are right to denounce plagiarism mercilessly; that's why it is so dismaying to learn that King's doctoral thesis contained an extraordinary amount of material borrowed or copied, unattributed, from the work of others.
But however just it may be to denounce his scholarship, that should not be confused with his leadership.
Whether or not, as a student, he wrote what he wrote, King did what he did. One way to describe his achievement is with other words of his, from his famous "Letter From Birmingham City Jail."