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Tag: “I Have a Dream Speech”
In the 20th century, few names, especially of Black people, ring louder than that of Martin Luther King. His life, his dedication to the civil rights movement and his martyrdom in April 1968 made him a global icon of social justice. Born in 1929, if he were not martyred, he would be enjoying his 90th year of life. But he was martyred and, too, he was considered an enemy of the state. Why?
There are many facts about King’s life that are not widely known to today’s African youth. One example is that he visited Africa before Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. Kwame Nkrumah invited King to Ghana’s independence celebration on March 6, 1957. Malcolm X’s first visited Egypt in 1959. King was light years ahead of his contemporaries on the South African question. It must be understood that the masses of Africans in the Western Hemisphere re-embraced pan-Africanism in the 1970s.
Today is Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. After much blood, sweat and tears, it is a cherished national holiday when we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, his life of struggle and the legacy he left for our ongoing struggle for civil and human rights. Government offices, banks, schools and many businesses will close this coming Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. But most technology companies will not be observing Martin Luther King Day.
As the nation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 50th anniversary holds a special place in the life of the Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, senior pastor at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and president of the San Francisco NAACP. Fifty years ago, Brown was at the March on Washington as a student from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
Like the 1963 march, the 2013 march has the potential to become a watershed moment in history. But to make it so, we must do the hard work of building genuine relationships and alliances across the lines of color, nationality, gender and sexual orientation. We must build a grassroots agenda and an organizing strategy. We must leverage the people power represented at the march to effect public opinion and national policies.
TV screens, newspaper pages and radio stations have been replaying, reprinting and rebroadcasting dark, grainy black and while film, photos and audiotape of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech – his “I Have a Dream” speech – in a hypocritical celebration of the 50 years since that fateful day in 1963, in Washington, D.C.
When discussing the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., especially his “I Have a Dream Speech,” what is often missed is his concern for global justice, particularly in Africa. While Dr. King’s outspokenness about the Vietnam War toward the end of his life has been well documented and discussed, his views about the need to support anti-colonialism and anti-Apartheid in Africa is less so.
Black Philanthropy Month 2013 is being celebrated nationwide this month and it is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. A highlight is the African Dream Summer Ball on Saturday, Aug. 17, hosted by the Bay Area organization Ebusua to benefit AWDF USA’s African Maternal Mortality Crisis campaign.
It is time to call for and mobilize “People United to Combat Media and Government Emasculation of Martin Luther King Jr.” It must be recognized that by consistently imposing upon the public the image of a person who had a dream and was essentially innocuous, the U.S. government and the country’s commercial media are emasculating a man in death whom they could not weaken or intimidate in life.
The 23rd African American Celebration through Poetry is Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 1-4 p.m. at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St., in Oakland, (510) 238-7352. All are welcome and if anyone didn’t hear of the event in time to be a part of the featured program, we do have an open mic at the end of the program.
On the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it comes to mind that from day one our society and culture have been heavily influenced by film. The recent slavery-related films, “Lincoln,” directed by Steven Spielberg, and “Django Unchained,” directed by Quentin Tarantino, will have a social, economic and psychological impact.
Contradictions in White America’s treatment of Blacks, which were exposed by the Black Power Movement, fashioned another side of King, according to his last speech and his writings. A side that began to embrace Black nationalist tactics and strategies as a means to achieve freedom, justice and equality for Black people. A side that accelerated Dr. Kings’ assassination.
“People forget that Dr. King was every bit as committed to economic justice as he was to ending racial segregation,” author Michael K. Honey said. “As we struggle with massive unemployment, a staggering racial wealth gap and near collapse of our financial system, King’s prophetic writings and speeches underscore his relevance for today.”
The Hampton House Motel in Miami’s predominantly Black Brownsville section was one of the places where famous Black recording artists stayed during segregation after performing for all-white audiences on the beach. The performers were not allowed to stay in predominantly white hotels. Miami-Dade County is restoring and renovating Hampton House after it fell into disrepair over the years. But ironically, the construction work on the Black historic site does not include any Black contractors, subcontractors or laborers.