Michael K. Honey was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1947. His father, a WWII veteran, worked as an urban planner and professor. His mother was from a working class Detroit family. He lived in Williamston, Pontiac, and Grand Rapids, Michigan as well as Toledo, Ohio. From 1965-1969, Honey attended Oakland University in southeast Michigan. After graduation, his status as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War was approved. He then spent time in Kentucky and in Memphis, Tennessee, where he served as the Southern Director of the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation. He received an MA from Howard University and a PhD from Northern Illinois University. His research focused on labor history and civil rights. His books include "Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers," "Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign," and "To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice." In 1990, he became a founding faculty member of the University of Washington Tacoma. He held the Fred and Dorothy Haley endowed professorship and served as the Harry Bridges Chair of Labor Studies. He taught African American and Labor History and also began a Community History curriculum which engaged students in interview projects and other public history initiatives focused on Tacoma. In addition to his scholarly work, Honey is also a film maker, musician, oral historian, and activist.