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In order to be an acceptable national hero, white America has had to sanitize Martin Luther King so that he was not perceived as a threat to anybody, simply as a religious leader filled with love and high principles. “The Radical King,” edited and introduced by Cornel West (Beacon Press 2015) reclaims what King really stood for and reminds us that the battle against white supremacy requires taking on a lot more than white racists.
Malcolm X Day San Francisco is part of a national effort to declare May 19, the birthday of Malcolm X – El Hajj Malik El Shabazz – an official holiday. Malcolm X Day will be celebrated in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point District on Sunday, May 17, with free outdoor music and guest speakers. Performers include local rappers and poets Selassie, Talia Monet, Jabari Shaw and Ras Ceylon.
This brief introduction to Selma’s bottom up history can help students and others learn valuable lessons for today. As SNCC veteran and filmmaker Judy Richardson said: “If we don’t learn that it was people just like us – our mothers, our uncles, our classmates, our clergy – who made and sustained the modern Civil Rights Movement, then we won’t know we can do it again. And then the other side wins – even before we ever begin the fight.”