Michael Honey

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Michael K. Honey (born 1947[1]) is an American historian, Guggenheim Fellow and Haley Professor of Humanities at the University of Washington Tacoma in the United States, where he teaches African-American, civil rights and labor history.[2][3] He previously served as the Harry Bridges Chair of Labor Studies for the University of Washington, and as President of the Labor and Working-Class History Association.[3]

Honey is best known for his scholarly research on the history of the American civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., and on the labor history of the United States. In 2011 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, "on the basis of his prior achievement and exceptional promise", from a field of almost 3,000 applicants from the United States and Canada.[4][5] He has also received research grants and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Research and Conference Center, the Huntington Library, and the Stanford Humanities Center.[3]

Honey is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (Ph.D.), Howard University (M.A.) and Oakland University (B.A.).

In 2008 his book Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign won the Liberty Legacy Foundation Award, awarded annually for the best book written by a professional historian on the fights for civil rights in the United States anytime from 1776 to the present.[6] It also received the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights 2011 Book award given annually to a novelist who "most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy's purposes - his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity."[7]

His current work is on the oral history of John Handcox, a Great Depression-era tenant farmer from Arkansas and advocate for the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, known for his political songs and poetry.[8]

Selected works[edit]

  • Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers (1993) ISBN 978-0-252-06305-3
  • "Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle (1999) ISBN 0-520-21774-8
  • Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (2008) ISBN 978-0-393-33053-3
  • All Labor Has Dignity (ed., 2011) ISBN 978-0-8070-8600-1, Martin Luther King's speeches on labor rights and economic justice, in the King Legacy Series of Beacon Press


  1. ^ (SNAC) Social Networks and Archival Context (2013). "Honey, Michael". Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities / University of Virginia. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Michael Honey". The King Legacy. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  3. ^ a b c "Michael K. Honey, Ph.D." University of Washington Tacoma. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  4. ^ "UWT professor among Guggenheim Fellows". Tacoma News Tribune. 2011-04-09. Archived from the original on 2012-09-08. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  5. ^ "UW Tacoma professor earns Guggenheim award". Tacoma Daily Index. 2011-04-13. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  6. ^ "Liberty Legacy Foundation Award Winners". Liberty Legacy Foundation Award. Archived from the original on 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  7. ^ Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights / Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe (2015). "Book Award". Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Guggenheim award supports study of Depression-era songwriter". University of Washington Tacoma. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2011-04-15.