Friday, April 04, 2008

40 Years Ago Today - MLK's Legacy

40 years ago today Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, so as you can imagine, the retrospectives of his life and legacy are out in full force. Dr. King is life's work is worthy of the adulation.

I was all prepared to write a retrospective myself, but changed my mind for two reasons.
First, I ran out of time. There simply are not enough hours in the day anymore. Second, there are so many voices in the Afrosphere that are much more eloquent and powerful than my own that I've decided to highlight some of them here.

Eddie Griffin, in a very powerful post, provides a perspective of the times from one who lived through it. He also takes to task some of the revisionist history surrounding Dr. King.

Strange, how we all loved Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after the fact of his death, some 40 years ago, this April 4th. Even those who hated him in life now show a kind of post-mortem reverence, like “Thank God, he’s dead.” What he stood for, what he fought for, and what he died for, was a threat to the American way of life. No one was ready for black people to be equal. Even now, there are diehards standing at the gate, obstructing the way to a truly gregarious society. Martin Luther King, Jr. was only in his mid-20s when he catapulted onto the national stage. To the world, he was the embodiment of a new black uprising challenging America’s apartheid system of segregation. He was the media baby for the Civil Rights Movement.

Over at Slant Truth 2.0, the theme is somewhat similar, with a twist.

I’d like to take the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death (I feel odd writing “anniversary.” The slight connotation of celebration is hard for me to shake, yet I can think of no better word right now.) to repost the Ten OTHER Things Martin Luther King Said video. In the wake of the shameful support of the Dunbar Village rapists by the West Palm Beach NAACP, In the wake of this shameful Democratic Presidential nomination, I feel we are in a crisis. In looking back, in memory, there is strength.

As usual, The Black Report breaks it all the way down for us with their post, Dr. King's Legacy Four Decades After His Death In Memphis; The essay was penned by Dr. Robert Bullard

a leader of the anti-environmental racism movement that has become integral to progressive Black movement politics. The toxic results of exploitative race relations can now be measured on graphs of relative neighborhood health, community well-being, and purity of local resources. In all categories, Blacks are clustered on the dangerous, polluted side of the tracks. Dr. King's legacy of struggle did not end with the defeat of Jim Crow, but expanded to tackle the unnatural environment that results when powerful men consider the entire planet to be their private property.

And finally, if you're like me and haven't had a chance to visit the King Museum, or the King Papers Exhibit in person, you can catch a quick video glimpse of both, courtesy of My Urban Report.

I haven't had time to check everybody's site yet, but that's enough to get you started. Let me know if you find other worthy additions by leaving a comment, and thanks to everyone who put up something commemorating this day.


Kevin Andre Elliott said...

Thanks for the link love!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mad Hatter said...

To those previously unaware, iit is a situation that seems unfathomable: There is no pension for the Memphis sanitation workers.

Those same men -- whose groundbreaking strike in 1968 lasted 65 days, brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to town and who are now accorded with honor and esteem at everything from NBA games to academic conferences -- those same men, when they retire, get nothing more from the City of Memphis.
According to Lorene Essex, the city's director of human resources, the city in 1999 did in fact move to put sanitation workers back into the pension system, to be effective on Jan. 1, 2000. However, she said, the Social Security Administration ruled that the employees covered by Social Security were not able to then transfer back into the city pension system.

DP said...

Kevin - thanks for dropping in and keep up the good work. I'm happy to share great post with our readers here.

DP said...

Mad Hatter - We will share this information as that is truly a travesty. It would be a really good thing if we could figure out a way to financially honor our civil rights and other heroes who sacrificed so much for us all. Any thoughts in that regard? Thanks for stopping in.