HAPPY MLK JR. DAY

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This is a post I did several years ago. I thought I’d share it again today.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader who, like Mahatma Gandhi before him, and Nelson Mandela after him, showed us the way from weakness and division to strength in unity.

He challenged and inspired us to reach deeper within ourselves, despite ourselves, for our best, which sometimes is, simply, better than yesterday. His power endures because it’s rooted in the courage to hold hope and faith in each others potential: “knowing” we can do it… we can be better every day, each in our own way.

On this, the U.S. holiday celebrating his life and legacy, I present you with ten of his extraordinary thoughts on leadership:
•”A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

•”I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”

•”All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

•”Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

•”The time is always right to do the right thing.”

•”We must use time creatively.”

•”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

•”The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”

•”Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

•”The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”

MEMORABLE MLK, JR QUOTES

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader who, like Mahatma Gandhi before him, and Nelson Mandela after him, showed us the way from weakness and division to strength in unity.

He challenged and inspired us to reach deeper within ourselves, despite ourselves, for our best, which sometimes is, simply, better than yesterday. His power endures because it’s rooted in the courage to hold hope and faith in each others potential: “knowing” we can do it… we can be better every day, each in our own way.

On this, the U.S. holiday celebrating his life and legacy, I present you with ten of his extraordinary thoughts on leadership:
•”A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

•”I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”

•”All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

•”Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

•”The time is always right to do the right thing.”

•”We must use time creatively.”

•”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

•”The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”

•”Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

•”The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”

THE DRUM MAJOR’S DAUGHTER: BERNICE KING

This is a video where Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest child reflects on tragedy, fear and hope as she sits in the CNN Red Chair.   This video was originally published on youtube.com on August 23, 2013.

BEFORE ROSA PARKS THERE WAS…

Claudette Colvin.

You’ve got to check out this clip.  This woman’s name is Claudette Colvin.  Few people know her story. When she was 15, she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person — nine months before Rosa Parks did the very same thing.  Now her story is the subject of a new book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.  Check her out above and you will know… the rest of the story.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: A SALUTE TO JOHN LEWIS

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On February 21, 1940, two sharecroppers bore a son who they named John Lewis.  Lewis grew up to be a force to be reckoned with in so many important ways; especially for blacks in America.  Even as a young kid, he became moved by the involvement of activists regarding the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  He especially became enamored with the words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  Lewis was so captivated that he became a part of the Civil Rights Movement.  He has since been on the forefront of the human rights struggle here in America.  In a large since, Lewis is owed much more credit than he gets.

I recently met John Lewis at a Home Depot in Atlanta.  He was there shopping with his son.  I was surprised at how small he was in stature.  I had pictured him to be a much larger man.  Honestly, he is much larger than can be imagined.  As a young man, Lewis became a nationally recognized leader.  He was labeled one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and he was a keynote speaker at the celebrated March on Washington.  He has been awarded over 50 honorary degrees from some of the most respected colleges and universities throughout the United States, including Princeton University, Duke University, Harvard University, Howard University, Morehouse College, and Fisk University.

Lewis recently sat down to be interviewed by the Associated Press and he spoke about the film “Selma”.

“It is very powerful.  It is very moving.  It is real.  It is so real.  It says something about the distance we’ve come in laying down the burden of race.”  Lewis also addressed that day “Bloody Sunday” as it is now called.

“We broke down those signs that said, ‘White Waiting’, ’Colored Waiting’, ’White Men’, ’Colored Men’, ’White Women’, ’Colored Women’.’ We got a Voting Rights Act passed 50 years ago, a Civil Rights Act passed.  But we still have a distance to go, Lewis said.

“In many communities today, the question of race is still very real.  You can feel it.  You can almost taste it.  But you cannot deny the fact that America is a different America.  Even in the heart of the Deep South, those signs are gone.  And they will not return.  People registered.  And they are voting.”

One can only imagine the mental and physical struggle that this 75 year old man has ended.  He was first elected to Congress in 1986.  He is now serving his 15th term.

President Barak Obama and Former President George W. Bush will join Lewis and a bipartisan congressional delegation for part of a 3 day civil rights journey to Alabama on March 7, 2015 for the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

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JOHN LEGEND & COMMON 2015 OSCARS

After seeing this performance of “Glory” from the movie Selma by John Legend & Common at the 2015 Oscars, I simply felt numb.  Their performance was the highlight of the night and brought many audience members to tears.  And then… the acceptance speeches afterwards for Best Song were poignant.  Their words help to put a punctuation mark  on BLACK HISTORY MONTH and the continued struggle…

Common’s speech:

“The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the south side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life, to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to those in Hong Kong, protesting for democracy,” he said. “This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated with love for all human beings.”

John Legend added the following:

“We say that Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now,” he said. “We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now, the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today then were under slavery in 1850.” He concluded with: “We are with you, we see you, we love you and march on.”

If I were there, you would have probably seen my tears rolling as well.

 

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: THE KING CENTER

Yesterday was one of those days…  A good day, that is.  Actually, every day is a good day but yesterday was one of those days that took me back a bit.  By back I mean all the way back to the Civil Rights Movement.  You see, yesterday I decided to go down to the King Center in Atlanta to take a few pictures so that I could post for Black History Month.  I did not see a sign that prohibited me from taking pictures and I’m not trying to profit off of the pictures I took so hopefully posting these pictures is lawful.  Of course, the trip (about 25 minutes from home) for me was so much more than that. It really made me appreciate the struggle for freedom even more as I began to see the images of blacks marching, being beaten with batons, being sprayed with water hoses, and so much more.  The struggle for freedom was so that generations of children would not have to endure some of the same challenges that were faced by our ancestors.

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As a child living in North Carolina, I personally can remember seeing a “whites only” fountain.  I can also remember having to sit in the balcony at the local movie theatre.  And all of this was in the 60’s.  I even remember going to segregated schools not by choice but because that is where we had to go.  My first experience with integration was when I went to the 5th grade.  I never faced some of the extreme hardships that some of our descendants faced but nonetheless, I can still identify with the struggle that they endured.

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While I was at the King Center, I not only thought about Dr. Martin Luther King but I  began to reflect on some of the names of the people like Hosea Williams, Ralph David Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, John Lewis(who I met recently), Jesse Jackson, and Coretta Scott King.  I began to wonder what our lives would look like today with these pioneers.  The sacrifice that they made for freedoms sake is poignant to say the least.

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While there I had conversations with some of the people who were also there.  Some with their young kids, some of various races, some on a mission to also reflect back on what their lives too would look like without these legends who risked their lives for justice.  A black gentleman with his two young sons said to me that he really wanted his kids to get a good visual as to what things looked like for blacks in America just only a few decades ago.  As I stood in one place I overhead a young white lady say to her mother “this is just horrible.”  Pictures can only begin to tell the story of what has happened in the past, and in some instances what continues to happen even to this day.  There are still too many stories about blacks getting beaten or killed by white cops and we’re in 2015.  Let us to continue to march on…’til victory is won!        kingking1

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REMEMBERING WHITNEY – MIRACLE

It is a MIRACLE to be alive and I’m truly grateful.  Today is MLK Jr. Day and it’s being celebrated all over the world.  There are many who still hold onto those antiquated ideas of superiority yet they obviously fail to realize that GOD is the only superior ONE!

Before I get too far off the beaten path, I am posting this video today to remember this iconic lady WHITNEY HOUSTON.  A movie about her is currently being featured on Lifetime.  I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard both good and bad things about it.  I will reserve my comments until I’ve seen it for myself.  If you’ve seen the movie, let me know what you think.  I’m going to try to see it real soon.  Check out this song by Whitney.  It is one of my favorites by her.

MOVEMENT IN MARTIN LUTHER KING JR’S GRAVE

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There have been reports that there has been some movement in the grave of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The reports began to circulate when news broke that his three youngest children, Martin Luther King III, Dexter King, and Bernice King, were fighting… again. Apparently, he’s turning over in his grave. This time the fight concerns the late civil rights leaders’ “traveling bible” and his Nobel Peace Prize.
MLK Jr.’s sons, have asked a judge to force Bernice to relinquish the aforementioned items. According to the AP, “Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs in 1995 assigned their rights to property inherited from the civil rights icon to the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc. The lawsuit says Bernice King has “secreted and sequestered” the medal and Bible in violation of that agreement.”
For her part, Bernice issued a statement that her brothers want the items so they can sell them to a private buyer. She has stated that she is against that.