Today we observe the birthday of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His contribution to the civil rights movement is incalculable. He is an American hero, but he has been dead for almost 50 years, and people are still asking in times of crisis “what would Dr. King say?” People who knew him well and people who did not know him at all are ready to respond on his behalf, but this does him a disservice. So many of the people who were around him have evolved on issues but King still has the opinions he had in 1968? No one knows what King would have been like had his life not been cut short. So why do we keep asking the question? King was relevant in his day, but his day has past. We can revere his memory, but we have to look forward not backward as we face the problems of this century.
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ATLANTA, Jan. 14, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — “What better way is there to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. than to compel people to forsake gun violence, fist violence and verbal violence for at least a day,” said Dr. Alveda King, Founder of Alveda King Ministries and Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life. Her cousin Elder Bernice King is King Center CEO and daughter of Dr. MLK and wife Coretta Scott King. “I agree with Bernice that nonviolence is a key to social change, and I add that the more lasting change of hearts is connected to this effort,” said Alveda. In a recent announcement, Bernice King made an appeal to the world to forsake violence on MLK day, and indeed is calling for a 100 Days of Nonviolence Campaign. The King Center is amassing an impressive list of partners in these efforts to curtail violence, including The Atlanta Hawks. For instance, The King Center and the Atlanta Hawks professional basketball team have joined in a partnership campaign to urge high school students to “Choose Nonviolence” as a way of life and a meaningful way to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Other groups such as the musical Awspire Entertainment Group featuring ICONIC JOURNEY are adding to the effort by contributing the use of original tunes such as LET FREEDOM RING, AMERICA RECOVERS and an inspirational ballad COME TOO FAR to the lineup of artistic entertainment at several events during King Week. “It is so encouraging that my hometown Atlanta Hawks are partnering with The King Center and providing leadership to encourage young people to embrace nonviolence in commemorating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday,” said Ms. Bernice A. King, C.E.O. of The King Center. “Professional athletes have unique credibility with young people, and when they take a stand against violence, it resonates throughout the community.”
Alveda is also excited about the Nonviolence activities, adding this: “I’ll be boots on the ground on Uncle M. L.’s actual birthday, January 15, for the Choose Nonviolence: NOW! No Other Way! events, the Launch of 100 Days of Nonviolence and will be addressing the evil impact of genocide on the panel for The State of Nonviolence: From Chaos to Community (A Dialogue on Human Trafficking). Then on Friday, I can’t wait to hear “The Message in the Music” at the Musical Tribute honoring the legacy of my uncle. I pray that thousands will join us, either by attending or at least amping up the social media efforts.”The ‘Choose Nonviolence- No Shots Fired’ campaign will challenge high school students in the Atlanta Metro Area to participate in the #CHOOSENONVIOLENCE CAMPAIGN by posting on the following social media platforms from Monday Jan. 6, 2014 — Friday Jan. 17, 2014:
•Change your social media profile to the “No Shots Fired” Logo.
•Post on Instagram (picture or video) why you believe it is important to choose nonviolence. You can post submissions on Twitter as well.
•Use the hash tags #ATLHAWKS with #CHOOSENONVIOLENCE Eligible submissions will be randomly chosen and awarded tickets to attend the Atlanta Hawks vs the Miami Heat game on Jan. 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM.
For more detailed information about the MLK birthday observance program, please contact Bunnie Jackson-Ransom at (404) 505-8188 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Steve Klein at email@example.com.
On Monday I got the opportunity to view the Martin Luther King Monument in Washington DC. I felt that the nation was making a valiant attempt to honor a man who sacrificed his life for civil rights, but later when viewing Facebook entries I saw people who were critical of the monument sounding off. They said what a waste that money could have been used to help the poor, but this money was raised from donations not govermental handouts. People gave because they wanted to, but the other troubling thing I saw this week was everybody saying what the slain leader would have thought about our problems. Keep in mind Dr. King has now been dead for 43 years. Alot has changed in 43 years. I saw poeple saying what he would have said about black unemployment, gay rights, women’s rights and foreign policy. Everybody had an answer, but the reality is no one knows what he would have thought or said when looking at the state of the United States circa 2011. My question to those of you old enough to remember Dr. King is do you have the same opinions that you had 40 years ago or 30, or 20, or even 10 years ago? No, you have probably evolved or changed completely. Dr. King is a figure that we have frozen in time and people make statements regarding the slain leader that are reflective of their own evolution not his.