Revelers honor MLK with drum corps parade in St. Petersburg

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dad gets ‘no-show’ bill after son, 5, misses birthday party.

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.

AMERICA’S reflection yesterday on the life and work of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr came at a most fortuitous and important time, given recent events in that country.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. Over the past few months, the United States — among the world’s most democratic countries and a proud defender of free speech — has been rocked by demonstrations against the killings of black, unarmed men by white police officers.

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. The events are sad realities that America has to grapple with, as they revive the issue of race relations in a country that has made significant strides forward since the Jim Crow era that spawned the civil rights movement for which Dr King became a pivotal figure. So comfortable was he on that short visit that he returned in 1967 and rented a house where he completed the manuscript which became his most important book: Where Do We Go From Here?

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. We believe that Dr King chose Jamaica, not only because it provided an opportunity to reflect without distractions, but because his spirit and vision were inspired by this independent black country.

At least one marcher wore an “I Can’t Breathe,” shirt, featuring the last words of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old New York man who died after police put him in a choke hold in July. A vendor from Atlanta was selling the shirt, along with other novelties and a calendar that said “Hands Up” — half of the “Don’t Shoot” chant that spread after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer outside St. Indeed, Dr King expressed that global vision of interconnectedness as: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He had come to realise that securing the right to vote was the means to legal desegregation but not necessarily to economic segregation, which required employment and education. 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.

And even though Dr King suffered several periods of imprisonment and many incidents of violence, he gained the respect of the world with this defining statement: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” As we have pointed out in this space before, there is a remarkable overlap of ideals between Jamaica’s first National Hero Marcus Garvey and Dr King in regard to the need for political freedom to be supported by economic development. 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. Day. “We all should come together, and that’s what today is,” she said. “Doesn’t matter race, creed or color.” The smell of fresh-cooked barbecue trailed the drum corps through downtown on a cool, clear morning. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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 Washington, Obama and his wife Michelle went with one of their daughters, Malia, to a site for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington to paint murals and assemble “literacy kits” to help youngsters improve their reading and writing skills. 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. 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.

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