This Week at OUR COMMON GROUND
Saturday, January 15, 2022 ::: 10 pm ET
“King Day: To Forget Is to Forfeit”
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The establishment of a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., marked the culmination of a long campaign that began soon after King’s assassination on April 1968 and ended on 2 November 1983, with the signing of legislation by President Ronald Reagan. Public Law 98–144 designated the third Monday in January as an annual federal holiday in King’s honor, and the first official celebration took place on 20 January 1986.
15 years later. The campaign to mark the holiday over those 15 years is strewn with vicious, racist pushback in and out of government. Over those years, there were many opportunities to question just what had really been achieved/transformed in America during the civil rights movement.
Since 1983, communities and organizations have celebrated King Day through various, creative and serious celebrations and forums. A national monument in Washington has been erected in Dr. King’s honor. However, there seems to be a diffusion in what we teach, remember and understand about Dr. King’s contribution to this country. The holiday seems to have become somewhat less deliberative in our celebrations. Taking for granted our responsibilities to keep his guidance and ideologies alive. We mention it, we attend the various luncheons, dinners. Yet, we now have generations of Black children, a new scholarship that tends to marginalize the power of his transformative power in our own communities. We read and quote his words outside the context and the import of the history he ignited.
Parades, luncheons, dinners alone cannot sustain the movement’s progress. We must organize, teach, educate, and practice the philosophy of King each and every day.
Can we keep KING ALIVE ?
- We should all ask yourselves: How many times this year, did I activate the liberation philosophies of Dr. King?
- Other than social latitudes, how did you practice/use-share the language of King’s movement?
- Just how did I “King” in the past year?
- How did I lift ‘democracy’?