On MLK 2011

With Martin Luther King Day upon us, this is a good day to step away from the frivolity of my Monday posts. Thanks to Dr. King and many others, the 1960s were a time of civil rights gains. I was in my youth during the 60s, yet the more time moves forward, the more I realize about the gains since those days. In addition, as I get older, I also realize how much more society has to travel to implement true equality.

To those who did not live the turbulent 60s, I hope you remember that everything has a history. It’s the knowledge of history that helps us understand where we are in relationship to where we have been – and that view is necessary to understand the journey ahead.

As my years moved forward, I also realize importance of Dr. King using a message of peace to gain dignity for many. The 1960s were volatile times – especially 1968, which many consider one of the most turbulent years in American history. Even with the pathetic vitriolic behavior within today’s politics, 2010 and the small bit of 2011 are not even close to the tenor of 1968.

On the other hand, in the spirit of Martin Luther King Day and the words and work that Dr. King gave society, enjoy this short, well-done music tribute.

12 thoughts on “On MLK 2011

  1. I grew up in the Chicago area in the 60s. I remember the TV coverage of the riots at the Democratic convention. While my parents were not outwardly racist, there were the occasional racial epithets dropped. High school choir was actually my introduction to a wider world, as we travelled both through southern Illinois and through the deep South. I could never figure out what the problem was – the African American kids we sang alongside talked like us, acted like us (yeah, immature – we were freshmen in high school!), and in general, weren’t really that different from our lily-white class. It has never ceased to amaze me how few differences there are between various racial or social groups, and never ceases to infuriate me how much effort people will put into finding those few differences. In light of the rhetoric surrounding the tragedy in Arizona, it seems we still have some way to go.

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    • John,
      Thanks for sharing your story, which also supports we’ve come a long way baby, but we still have a long way to go philosophy. Seems you learned early about equality … and the Chicago Democratic Convention, well, we know that’s a long story in itself. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. “It’s the knowledge of history that helps us understand where we are in relationship to where we have been – and that view is necessary to understand the journey ahead.”

    I am quoting you in my private journal. Just so you know.

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  3. Great post Frank!

    I found this article:

    http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4803

    “FREE AT LAST”

    King’s body was brought home to Atlanta. It was placed in the Baptist church where he had been co-pastor with his father. Everywhere in the nation there was shock and grief. Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of John F. Kennedy, wrote to Coretta King. She asked, “When will our country learn that to live by the sword is to perish by the sword?”

    On Tuesday, April 9, the funeral began. Many words were said in honor of Martin Luther King. But the words that touched people the most were spoken by King himself. A tape recording was played of part of the last sermon King made in his church:

    “If any of you are around when I meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. If you get somebody to talk, tell him not to talk too long. Tell him not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize. That isn’t important.

    “I’d like someone to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others . . . I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that I did try in my life to clothe the naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”

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    • Meesh,
      Thanks for the article and the video. I can recall the assassination as it was one of the crazy things that happened in 1968, thus I hope I never witness another year like that one.

      Dr King was a great man, and his legacy will live forever … and the more I understand the situation of the times, the more I understand his undertaking and his accomplishments.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing. Ah yes, a good video too.

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      • Frank,

        I also loved that video, I recall when Stevie Wonder came out with that song!

        Here is some interesting information – history on MLK jr Day. ===> http://tinyurl.com/467y5kl

        Worth noting, places outside of the USA where Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed with equal importance is in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, that a special banquet at the mayor’s office as an act of unifying his city’s call for peace with King’s message of human rights.

        Also here in Canada the City of Toronto, Ontario is another city that observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

        Have a fabulous day!

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        • Meesh,
          Thanks for the wonderful link. As a matter of fact, earlier today I was wondering if other countries celebrated MLK Day … so hey, the info you provided enlightened my day. Many thanks …. and glad to hear that Toronto joins in.

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  4. Frank,

    I also did not know Toronto Ontario celebrated MLK jr
    Day, until recently when looking something up for Mooshy1.

    From the Toronto city’s proclamation honouring their American cousins’ holiday:

    The people of Toronto are in the forefront of efforts to establish a caring and compassionate society based on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and disadvantage and the inherent ability within each of us to recognize that the fundamental strength of our community is our diversity.

    The residents of Toronto honour Dr. King’s memory each year with a day of remembrance in January, to reaffirm our commitment to the basic principles of human rights, equality and justice.

    I learned something new too, and I live in Canada!

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    • Meesh,
      Cheers and blessings to the people of Toronto. On the other hand, Toronto is very diverse, so the proclamation is understandable in that sense. I will have to discuss this with some church friends with Ontario roots, Just another example of expecting the unexpected from those crazy Canadians! Many thanks! Hi to Mooshy1 for me.

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  5. Fantastic article Frank and a great tribute to MLK. I particularly liked this paragraph:

    “To those who did not live the turbulent 60s, I hope you remember that everything has a history. It’s the knowledge of history that helps us understand where we are in relationship to where we have been – and that view is necessary to understand the journey ahead.”

    I think that is a powerful sentiment that so many do not remember – hence “doomed to live again”. We are at a point where people are so obssessed with the here and now they forget “what has gone before will come again” – especially if we ignore our history and it’s importance – or if we, as some do, try and subvert history.

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    • Emma,
      Many thanks. You pointing out that sentence is touching – especially since you’re the second to do so … and your “doomed to live again” statement shows that we have a way of making mistakes that shouldn’t have been made if history was known. Thanks for visiting.

      Like

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