I've been wanting to get this to you all day. We're celebrating MLK's Bday. Although our school will be closed, we hope that for you it's not a day off, but a day on! Not a day for shopping, unless you're shopping at a Black business - like he asked us to do. Please do something uplifting with and for our people. Choose Warriors-Healer-Builder, or maybe do some of all three.
Brother Sundiata Aya called me this afternoon with a request about some Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes and speeches. As I talked to him, I realized that I needed to make available my favorite MLK words.
I've just finished, and the video is ready. I wanted to be short. We'll just over 30 minutes is the best that I could do:
This is a King that others won't likely show. Hopefully, they'll stimulate discussion for you, your children, maybe your peers even.
Here are 20 short topics, questions and one-line excerpts from the the video/audio selections that will make for an AYA-like discussion for you and your family after watching the video.
1. "You died when you refused to stand up for justice." 2. "Never bow to the gods of evil!" 3. "I will not segregate my moral concerns" 4. "We are God's children" 5. "God's preachers must talk about the new Atlanta, New York, Los Angles" 6. Anchor external action (protest) with economic withdrawal and economic development
Find the references above and discuss what he meant and how does that relate to now.
1. We are both rich and poor economically - rich in collective wealth. Poor relative to Whites. (What's the relative income and wealth of us vs. them? Compare since King's time.) 2. What is America's messianic arrogance? 3. MLK says America provides socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. What is socialism? What is capitalism? Does that still exist today? He gives an example in his speech; can you give others?
1. What's the triple prong sickness that he said was the plague of the US and other Western (White) civilizations? Still a plague? 2. What are the hounds of hell of which he speaks? 3. Some Black people refer to a "White backlash" based on Barrack Obama's election. King speaks to the claims of White backlash during his time, but says that those claims are unfounded, says that the roots of White action are deeper and from a different place. From where? 4. There is are two myths of capitalism that Kings addresses: one about that it's so wonderful, and the other about the origins of America's great capitalist progress. How did he explode this myth. Do you agree? Can you back your opinion up with any historical evidence, or can you find any to support or challenge his contentions? 5. What does he mean by the Victor Hugo quote re: misery and humanity? (Discuss it. Is it the nature of humanity or the nature of Western society?)
1. King said that the Ghetto is a domestic colony; what's that? 2. He also said that we need to control the politics, economies and destinies of our communities? How can we do that? Can we do it by integrating into other communities? Have we done that? Has it worked? 3. Who are the people and what are the principles, ideas, issues, causes, for which we are willing to die? King said if we don't have these, "we're not fit to live." Could that be the "Prince of Peace," or is was he really a "Drum major for Justice?" 4. Re: Vietnam: What is the Geneva Accord?. What was the Vietnam War, and why was he so against it? (Hint: $500K vs $53). What's the military industrial complex? Is it still operative, now? Given what you've learned from these excerpts, would King be against it? Are you?
Where do you stand?
1. Discuss, analyze: "On some positions cowardice asks is it safe, expediency asks is it politic, vanity asks... but... King often ended his speeches with this quote. What do you think would happen if this one was repeated as much as the "I Have A Dream" quote?
Now, you become the media to make sure people know this quote. Memorize it and repeat it often. Include "...you may be 38 as I happen to be..." and end with "... merely a belated announcement of any earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand for truth, justice, and something right."