Tag Archives: king day

Martin Luther King goes from Church Fan to Twerking?

Back in the day Martin Luther King graced the cover of church fans all over the country. Dr. King was a revered figure who was held in the highest regard in the community and especially the church. After his death it was not uncommon to see pictures of him intermingled with family pictures sitting proudly on the mantel in many a black home. Who can forget the pictures of MLK, JFK and Jesus. The reverance might have been a little over the top, but he was hero to black people and he was fought for the civil and human rights of all people. The first few years of his birthday being a national holdiay were time for reflecting on his work. Churches would have services in his honor, urban cities held parades and schools and federal and state offices received another holiday. What a way to celebrate a man, but cut to 2014. Well, this is something that started a few years ago but this year it jumped the shark. Now some people have decided to take King’s face and show him twerking, drinking and even flashing gang signs. What has happened to people? Is this anyway to treat a hero? Sure we know that King was no saint and we are not trying to make him one, but he does not deserve to be treated this way? So often I have written posts about commercials that were racially insensitive and I have asked the rhetorical question” who was in the room when this got approved?” Now I have to ask who was in the room when these flyers were released? What black person in their right mind thought this was acceptable? Bring back the church fan.


Dr. Alveda King Joins King Center CEO Bernice King in Urging a ‘No Shots Fired’ for MLK Day Mandate

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 bjr@fclassinc.com or call Steve Klein at sklein@thekingcenter.org.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, the Man

Today we commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. The other day we heard a newsman say if he had lived he would have been 83 years old, but he didn’t and sadly birthdays cease once you die. So we remember him today as the 39 year old determined preacher who helped lead a movement that changed the world. When I was looking for a picture I initially pondered posting a picture of the monument, but that makes us look at him as bigger than life and so far from us mere mortals. The picture above depicts two people in love. A man and a woman. We idolize King and in doing that we do him a disservice. He was a man with all of the same baggage we carry. I’m sure there were times he felt insecure, uncertain and even afraid, but the real strength he showed was he moved ahead in spite of these feelings. He was committed to making a change. When was the last time you committed to anything? I am not suggesting that any of us will lead a movement, but what I am saying is let’s remember King was human just like us and he did something, and frankly we can too.

Watch Ronald Reagan Question Martin Luther King’s Patriotisim

I saw this article in The Grio. The Republicans often wax poetic about the good old days of Ronald Reagan. He is their idol, but this exalted opinion is not shared by all. Reagan is the president that signed the bill that legalized King Day, but not without reservations and in the clip he shares some of his heart felt feelings. Watch the clip and tell me what you think.

Remembering the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Today I am posting a moving tribute to Dr. King written by one of my friends, Lynne Matthews. This is her experience and I felt it was worthy of sharing. Make your King Day matter do something for someone else.

This morning was an emotional one, as I reflected on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. I thought back to a time when I was living in Seat Pleasant (Maryland) as a nine-year-old child, and Prince Georges County was going through the forced integration of the public school system.  I remember seeing white women on the news in a panic because these little Black (or Negro) children were coming to “ruin” their schools. I took it personally. I just couldn’t figure out why I was so undesirable that these women were bawling their eyes out and literally passing out because I was coming to their school.

I remember half of us being taken out of our neighborhood school midyear and being bussed to the all white school in Forrestville (yes, times have changed!), only to be welcomed by “N****R” GO HOME,” which was spray painted on the front of the school. I was perplexed by the presence of policeman (all white). Who were they protecting?  I was cognizant of, but strangely unfazed by, the glares of those white parents who, clutching their children for dear life, had chosen to walk with their children to school – to protect them, I guess. The white kids were interesting to me: some looked scared, some looked angry, but most looked confused.  As for “us,” there was a sense of pride and invincibility –  I think we all felt it – as we, a united front with an unspoken bond to protect each other if necessary, got off of the bus and walked into the school.

By the next school year, my family had moved to Columbia, Maryland, an alleged “melting pot” community.  We were in a new “village” that didn’t have a school yet, so I had to take the bus to a school in a neighboring town. This time, I didn’t have the protection and comfort of “my posse.”  No, this time I would be the only “raisin in the rice” in my class (I think there were about 5 other black kids in the entire school).  I remember on Monday mornings watching the other girls as they excitedly giggled about the birthday parties and play dates they attended with each other over the weekend. Must have been nice, I thought, standing outside of the circle. 

Flashfoward 40 years. When I look at my children’s experiences today, I realize that their reality is far different from what mine was. Today, my oldest daughter is at a sleepover. The invitation list was a cultural melting pot. One girl is Black (guess who!), one is white, one is of Philippine descent, and the other is biracial (black/white). I couldn’t help but think: “This moment made possible, in no small part, by Dr. Martin Luther King,” and all of those – black, white, and other races – who stood with him.

No, we are not “there” yet, but we’ve come a long way. I will take some time today to share with my children. I will tell them of my experience as a child. I will tell them of their own father’s experience of “freedom-marching” hand-in-hand with his mother, while enduring being pelted by tomatoes, eggs, and other objects. I will tell them of my father, an officer in the Air Force and a Viet Nam veteran who couldn’t eat with his white comrades during his various tours of duty in the South.  I will tell them about their forefathers in Virginia, who escaped oppression in a covered wagon, being shot at all the while. I will tell them about their paternal forefather, a proud man from Senegal, who landed in Maryland and “earned” his freedom from slavery. Certainly, I will also enjoy the liberties I have by hitting the sale at Macy’s today with my mom and my middle daughter. And I will do so by entering the store through the front door, and when I’m thirsty, I will drink from any water fountain I so choose.

 Have a great day and honor the legacy!


From MLK to Today Presented by CNN Offered A Unique Slice of History

Today CNN gave its audience the rare opportunity to hear Martin Luther King’s speech from the March on Washington. This speech lasted for 17 short minutes and we are most familiar with the “I Have a Dream” portion of the speech. This speech solidified Dr. King as a dreamer, but he was so much more than a dreamer. This speech was about economic empowerment. When you listen to the first part of the speech you sense a righteous indignation. Dr. King was telling America that black people were being denied their civil rights.  This speech was being delivered 100 years after the revocation of slavery but the reality is that black people were still not free. King talked about how blacks in the south were denied the right to vote and black people in the north did not feel they had anything to vote for. This feeling of irrelevance still exists in some sectors of our society. The other thing that is striking is how King knew to achieve things articulated in his speech he would need a multi-racial coalition and he paid tribute to the white people that were engaged in his movement.  On this King Day I was happy to be able to watch the speech with my children. Our children truly have no concept of all it took to even get this far and this speech was an excellent teaching tool. It was great that the King estate gave CNN the rights to show it today. We have come a long way but when we look around some things have changed, but there is still work to be done. As King said America wrote a check to the black community and it came back marked insufficient funds. Well, with the election of Barack Obama we see there is still something in that “bank” and that is why we still have hope.