Inauguration by Mark Fiore
Dr. King showed most profoundly that in an interdependent world, lasting power grows against the grain of violence, not with it. Both the cold war and South African apartheid ended to the strains of “We Shall Overcome,” defying all preparations for Armageddon. The civil rights movement remains a model for new democracy, sadly neglected in its own birthplace. In Iraq today, we are stuck on the Vietnam model instead. There is no more salient or neglected field of study than the relationship between power and violence.
We recoil from nonviolence at our peril. Dr. King rightly saw it at the heart of democracy. Our nation is a great cathedral of votes — votes not only for Congress and for president, but also votes on Supreme Court decisions and on countless juries. Votes govern the boards of great corporations and tiny charities alike. Visibly and invisibly, everything runs on votes. And every vote is nothing but a piece of nonviolence.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther
King, Jr. – a tragic end to a life spent moving the nation
towards racial justice and reconciliation.
But in the last few weeks, instead of building on his legacy,
the news media has been in a feeding frenzy which plays on our
worst fears and demeans the prophetic tradition of the black
Rev. Jeremiah Wright has preached for over 3,000 hours in the
course of his career, but the cable news networks have used a
handful of 30-second clips, often taken completely out of
context, to exploit racial fears and further divide this nation.
I just sent a message to these networks, telling them to honor
King’s legacy by covering racial issues in a way worthy of his
dream. Will you join me?
Just click HERE.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I want to share a video that reveals how far we’ve come and how much this campaign owes to Dr. King’s legacy.Students at a high school in the Bronx, who had no real interest in their government, have found new hope. They were surprised by their own excitement and engagement, but to me, they embody so many reasons why Barack and I decided to get into this campaign.
It’s truly moving to see young people inspired by a political leader — someone who gives them hope and reminds them that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard.
The number thirty-nine is of tragic significance today. It was thirty-nine years ago today that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee. He was tragically assassinated on his hotel balcony and died shortly thereafter at the hospital. And sadly, Dr. King only lived to the age of thirty-nine.
Dr. King had been in Memphis on April 4, 1968 to lead a march of sanitation workers protesting against low wages and poor working conditions.
After hearing the news about Dr. King’s death, President Johnson announced, “I ask all citizens to reject the blind violence that has taken Dr. King who lived by non-violence.” Johnson had been “shocked and saddened” by the news of the loss of this civil rights hero.
Four years prior to his assassination, Dr. King had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work as a peacemaker, promoting nonviolence and equal rights for all.
The Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is being constructed to honor Dr. King’s national and international contributions to world peace through non-violent social change.
Dr. King’s lifelong dedication to the idea of achieving human dignity through global relationships of well-being has served to instill a broader and deeper sense of duty within each of us—a duty to be responsible citizens. This Memorial is being built for future generations, to ensure his legacy lives on and to make certain his messages of freedom and democracy remain alive and well.
Please join me in remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today. His voice may have been silenced, but you can help keep his dream alive through your support of the Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Visit www.buildthedream.org to learn more about the Memorial and what you can do to support Dr. King’s dream.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Harry E. Johnson, Sr.
President & CEO
January 18, 2007
By BOB HERBERT
On the evening of the fourth of April, 1967, one year to the day (almost to the hour) before his assassination, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. walked into Riverside Church in Manhattan and delivered a speech that was among his least well known, yet most controversial.
“I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight,” he said, “because my conscience leaves me no other choice.” (more…)
On yesterday’s edition of World Cafe Words and Music with David Dye, they celebrated Martin Luther King Day with writer Peter Guralnick’s account of legendary artist Sam Cooke. Cooke was a force in the fight for racial equality. His magnificent song A Change Is Gonna Come became an anthem for the civil rights movement. Guralnick’s 2005 book “Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke” is now out in paperback.
Also Mavis Staples spoke of how Martin and Pop Staples’ friendship and how Dr. King’s favorite Staples song was Why Am I Treated So Bad.
Here are some excerpts on war from Martin Luther King, Jr., “Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution.
‘ I want to say one other challenge that we face is simply that we must find an alternative to war and bloodshed. Anyone who feels, and there are still a lot of people who feel that way, that war can solve the social problems facing mankind is sleeping through a great revolution. ‘