7-year-old boy keeps Dr. King’s ‘Dream’ speech alive

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

7-year-old boy keeps Dr. King‘s ‘Dream’ speech alive.

The final words of his final speech, delivered from the pulpit of the Mason Temple Church of God in Memphis on April 3, 1968, eerily foreshadowed the next day’s catastrophe. “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life,” the Rev. LONDON (AP) — It was not what Derek Nash expected to find in his 5-year-old’s school bag: A bill demanding a “no-show fee” for another child’s birthday party.

Martin Luther King Jr. at his spiritual home in Atlanta repeated the same message on his national holiday Monday: We’ve come a long way, but there’s still much to be done to fulfill King’s dream. Nash said the bill from another parent sought 15.95 pounds ($24.00) because his son Alex had not attended the party at a ski center in Plymouth, southwest England. The King tributes came against a backdrop of recent national protests over the deaths of unarmed black men and youths at the hands of the police around the U.S.

We didn’t want him to grow up thinking that people can’t work together.” Hundreds of protesters used the occasion to “raise awareness” of alleged police brutality, marching across the city from Harlem to the UN to Foley Square. “I think this movement has been going on for a long time and the recent events have been a spark,” said Abe Greene, a housing lawyer from Crown Heights. “I really want to be part of the change in history that we bring about through community organizing and people power.” At a King Day ceremony at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams defended Mayor de Blasio against police-union critics upset over the mayor’s perceived lack of support for cops. “Unions should always fight for their members, but they should never get it twisted,” Adams said. “When it’s time to determine what policies are going to impact the people of the City of New York, I did not elect the PBA. I elected the mayor.” President Obama celebrated the holiday by assembling “literacy kits” at a Boys & Girls Club to help young kids improve their reading and writing skills.

But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!” Thoughts of his mortality were understandably on King’s mind. In a delicately wrought scene in which Coretta Scott King calls out her husband about his infidelities, some of the teenage girls reacted with a chorus of “oooohs.” Ms. DuVernay sets the tone for her portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as patronizing and skittish on civil rights in the first scene between the president and King.

LBJ stands above a seated MLK, pats him on the shoulder, and tells him “this voting thing is just going to have to wait” while he works on “the eradication of poverty.” Many of the teenagers by me bristled at the power dynamic between the men. A woman had stabbed him deep in the chest, and as King recounted to his Memphis audience, the papers reported that had he sneezed before doctors could remove the blade, he would have died. He taught us that we still have a choice to make: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation,” she said. “I challenge you to work with us as we help this nation choose nonviolence.” The courage and sacrifice of the civil rights activists of the 1950s and 1960s provides a model for those seeking change today, she added.

To read (or listen to) King’s final speech, knowing that he was just 39 and would be murdered the next day, is to marvel that America could have produced so extraordinary a liberator. All three were killed by white officers. “I cannot help but remember many women and men who have been gunned down, not by a bad police force but by some bad actors in a police force,” she said. Protesters in California, many of them students at Stanford University, blocked the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, forcing westbound lanes to close for more than an hour Monday night, authorities said. Hollywood has done that with films like “Mississippi Burning,” which cast white FBI agents as the heroes, or “Cry Freedom,” which made a white journalist the focus rather than Denzel Washington’s anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko.

Elsewhere, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported about 60 people gathered Monday at a recreation center where a Cleveland police officer fatally shot the 12-year-old. Top Johnson aide Jack Valenti told Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian, that LBJ aspired to pass a Voting Rights Act from his first night as president. In Seattle, authorities reported a handful of arrests after dozens chanting “black lives matter” disrupted traffic in Seattle, blocking part of a state highway and interstate off-ramps. Valenti said that his boss talked to him about it the night of JFK’s assassination in the bedroom of Johnson’s house in D.C., The Elms, before the newly sworn-in president went to sleep.

Whether writing behind bars from a Birmingham jail, or preaching to 250,000 civil rights marchers at the Lincoln Memorial, or accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in the presence of Norway’s royal family, King always located his true north within the American tradition. On the last full day of his life, in the last speech he ever gave, this great American reiterated that those who struggled for black civil rights “were really standing up for the best in the American dream, and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers.” He was American to his core, not only staking a claim to the American dream, but enriching and expanding it for everyone. The name of the New York man who died in a white police officer’s chokehold was invoked by some during peaceful tributes in New York. “We will move forward as a city. Edgar Hoover send a sex tape of her husband to Coretta King. (Bobby Kennedy, as JFK’s attorney general, is the one who allowed Hoover to tap King.) The “Hey, it’s just a movie” excuse doesn’t wash. Filmmakers love to talk about their artistic license to distort the truth, even as they bank on the authenticity of their films to boost them at awards season.

Louis Post-Dispatch reportedtwo dozen protesters interrupted a King event at Harris-Stowe State University in that area, leading to angry confrontations with students outside a campus auditorium. In Denver some held signs up about the recent black deaths as tens of thousands, including cowboys on horseback, made it one of that city’s biggest MLK Day turnouts in years. Drill teams and floats paraded in Las Vegas under the theme: “Living the Dream: Where Do We Go From Here?” A day after he joined other actors from the movie “Selma” and hundreds of others in Alabama for a march to Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge — where civil rights protesters were beaten and tear-gassed in 1965 — actor David Oyelowo said during the Atlanta commemoration that playing King was a heavy burden.

He cried as he talked about putting himself in King’s place. “I only stepped into his shoes for a moment, but I asked myself, ‘How did he do it?'” Oyelowo said. DuVernay had plenty of vile white villains — including one who kicks a priest to death in the street — and they were no doubt shocking to the D.C. school kids.

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