"In holding these views, King followed in the footsteps of many prominent, influential Americans whose views and activism changed the country for the better. In the 1890s, a socialist Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy, wrote 'The Pledge of Allegiance' and a socialist poet, Katherine Lee Bates, penned 'America the Beautiful.' King was part of a proud tradition that includes such important 20th century figures as Jane Addams, Eugene Debs, Florence Kelley, John Dewey, Upton Sinclair, Helen Keller, W.E.B. DuBois, Albert Einstein, A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, and Walter Reuther.
"Today, America's most prominent democratic socialist is Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination."
Peter Dreier at The Huffington Post reminds readers that Martin Luther King, Jr. "called for a 'gigantic Marshall Plan' for the poor."
Thomas Sugrue in Jacobin also emphasizes MLK's "subversive, challenging, and upsetting messages."