This will be a very short diary. It will not contain any links or any scholarly references. It is about a very narrow topic, from a very personal, subjective perspective. The topic at hand is what Martin Luther King actually did, what it was that he actually accomplished. The reason I'm posting this is because there were dueling diaries over the weekend about Dr. King's legacy, and there is a diary up now ... entitled, "Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream Not Yet Realized." I'm sure the diarist means well as did the others. But what most people who reference Dr. King seem not to know is how Dr. King actually changed the subjective experience of life in the United States for African Americans. And yeah, I said for African Americans, not for Americans, because his main impact was his effect on the lives of African Americans, not on Americans in general. His main impact was not to make white people nicer or fairer. That's why some of us who are African Americans get a bit possessive about his legacy. Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy, despite what our civil religion tells us, is not color blind. [more inside]
Robert Penn Warren's book Who Speaks for the Negro?
was a collection of interviews with various men and women involved in the Civil Rights Movement published in 1965. Vanderbilt University has made all the interviews
available as audio and transcripts, taken from the original reel-to-reel recordings. Among the interviewees were Martin Luther King Jr.
, Malcolm X
, Septima Poinsette Clark
, Ralph Ellison
, Stokely Carmichael
, James Baldwin
and Bayard Rustin
. On the page for each interview there are links to related documents
, such as letters, photos and contemporary news articles.
Here's never before seen footage of a teenage Kanye West performing at the Double Door in Chicago
in 1996 (YouTube
Want to go farther back in time? After posting the 1996 video DDotOmen readers uncovered footage of a 12 year old West, performing "His Name Means Love,"
a poem he wrote in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, at Vanderpoel Elementary School in 1990. (YouTube
) [more inside]
This year the CBC Massey Lectures celebrates fifty years with bestselling author, essayist, cultural observer, and famed New Yorker contributor Adam Gopnik.
His subject is winter - the season, the space, the cycle
. Gopnik takes us on an intimate tour of the artists, poets, composers, writers, explorers, scientists, and thinkers, who helped shape a new and modern idea of winter.
Listen to Winter: Five Windows on the Season Streaming files for this years lecture will be available until Friday, November 18. [more inside]
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." In the wake of bin Laden's killing, partially
widely via Twitter and Facebook. [more inside]
It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that's what we've forgotten. Give up that dream!
Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. [more inside]
MLK Jr: The First Attempt
: Nearly 10 years before he was assassinated, as Dr. King signed copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom
, Izola Ware Curry
, a part-time maid from Georgia, stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener, nearly puncturing his aorta. Though she was eventually indicted for attempted murder, Ms. Curry was found incompetent to stand trial
and committed to Matteawan State Hospital for the criminally insane. Characteristically, Dr. King forgave her
and requested that she be rehabilitated as a productive member of society. [more inside]
Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story
: "People were told to read it
, memorize it, and destroy it because if they were caught with it, they could be killed." The story of this influential comic book
, which helped inspire the 1960 Woolworth's sit-in
, is the subject of a new exhibition at Pittsburgh's Toonseum
Happy Birthday Dr. King. Today is Martin Luther King Day. He was born 80 years ago, on January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just thirty-nine years old.
Tomorrow, more than four decades after Dr. King’s death, Barack Obama will take his oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States and the first African American president in US history. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr, King, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration ceremony. Obama accepted the Democratic party nomination on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, arguably his most famous address.
While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People"s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic US foreign policy and the Vietnam War. [more inside]
On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech
, Barack Obama
accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party to be their Presidential candidate with a speech so well-crafted that Pat bloody Buchanan couldn't stop raving about it
, and had to be cut off by his fellow broadcasters. It was an occasion so historic that McCain chose to release an ad congratulating his opponent
A year to the day before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered this speech
at Riverside Church, New York City. In the last years of his life, King moved beyond anti-segregation activism to a broader indictment of American class structure and foreign policy. This is The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV
we have a Martin Luther King Day. What an amazing speech. [Coral cache][via]
Florida town changes MLK street name
What's in a name, asked Shakespeare. Everything, it seems.
In his own words ...
On this holiday celebrating the achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his words continue to have meaning for both blacks and whites, conservatives and liberals. Most people are familiar with his I Have a Dream Speech
but also noteworthy are The Purpose of Education
, The Negro and the Constitution
, his Nobel Prize acceptance speech
, his Letter from Birmingham Jail
-- which some have argued should be added to the canon of Scripture -- and his final I See the Promised Land
remarks delivered the day before his death.
Thank Mahalia Jackson for King's "I have a dream."
"On August 28, 1963, under a nearly cloudless sky, more than 250,000 people, a fifth of them white, gathered near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to rally for 'jobs and freedom.'... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had originally prepared a short and somewhat formal recitation of the sufferings of African Americans attempting to realize their freedom in a society chained by discrimination. He was about to sit down when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson
called out, 'Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!' Encouraged by shouts from the audience, King drew upon some of his past talks, and the result became the landmark statement of civil rights in America--a dream of all people, of all races and colors and backgrounds, sharing in an America marked by freedom and democracy."
2 students shot in MLK Jr. HS yesterday.
"A gunman sneaked into Martin Luther King Jr. HS yesterday through a side door - evading 14 safety agents, two cops and metal-detectors - and shot and seriously wounded two boys headed to class, officials said. "
"The fact that the shooting occurred on King’s birthday was a "cruel irony," said [Manhattan Board of Education member Irving ] Hamer. King and the school stand for non-violence, he said, and "instead, we get a shooting."