For his service to our people and to this nation, be Grateful and Thoughtful on this MLK Day
It is not a day of service, it is a day of reflection, renewal, and re-engineering. A day to tell the story and lift up a most righteous demand for freedom. This man, through the power of our lived history, colored America and its infractions in 3D.
“For the good of America, it is necessary to refute the idea that the dominant ideology in our country, even today, is freedom and equality while racism is just an occasional departure from the norm on the part of a few bigoted extremists. Racism can well be that corrosive evil that will bring down the curtain on western civilization.”‘The Three Evils of Society’ Speech – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – August 31, 1967
I for one, trust my struggle for justice and a reparative future for Black people in this country. Consequently, I do not fall for the “a day of action” distraction about what this day means. Pausing and re-assessment are the ways I spend the hours of this day. How I spend my MLK Day. It is a day that I remind my history recall that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who stepped up in history for a different future was assassinated. It is a day that I remind myself that you cannot serve the people, without loving the people. I am also reminded of my obligation to step out of the shadow and look back on the stenciling of Jim Crow across this country, in the heart of our children, in our government, and in these laws. I have an obligation. On this day, I review them, reprioritize and recognize all the shortcomings that can be found at the intersection of a double-consciousness existence that formed both the fracture and the power in me. I am not the child of some Founding Father. I come up from a place where I have been required to create my own country, voice, and place. MLK, Jr. added a very critical layer to that foundation.
Celebrate and remember the Father, Husband, Leader, Writer, Orator, Justice Interlocutor, Civil, and Human Rights Warrior.
Preserving the legacy of one of the twentieth century’s most influential advocates for peace and justice, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., was described by one historian as being the “equivalent to a conversation” with King. To Save the Soul of America, the seventh volume of the anticipated fourteen-volume edition, provides an unprecedented glimpse into King’s early relationship with President John F. Kennedy and his efforts to remain relevant in a protest movement growing increasingly massive and militant.
Following Kennedy’s inauguration in January 1961, King’s high expectations for the new administration gave way to disappointment as the president hesitated to commit to comprehensive civil rights legislation. As the initial Freedom Ride catapulted King into the national spotlight in May, tensions with student activists affiliated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) were exacerbated after King refused to participate in subsequent freedom rides. These tensions became more evident after King accepted an invitation in December 1961 to help the SNCC-supported Albany Movement in southwest Georgia. King’s arrests in Albany prompted widespread national press coverage for the protests there, but he left with minimal tangible gains.
During 1962 King worked diligently to improve the effectiveness of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) by hiring new staff and initiating grassroots outreach. King also increased his influence by undertaking an overcrowded schedule of appearances, teaching a course at Morehouse College, and participating in an additional round of protests in Albany during July 1962. As King confronted these difficult challenges, he learned valuable lessons that would later influence the campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.