~~January 20, 2014~~
There is no other way to start today!
This the beginning of a post that I wrote for today, the celebration of Rev. Martin Luther King remembrance day. “Getting ready for today“. There’s never enough coverage of this man and the great things he did for the common good.
I started that post this way:
“More than 45 years after his death and 50 years after his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr.‘s stirring words and writings remain as relevant and inspiring today as they were when he lived.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.
Born Michael King, his father changed his name in honor of German reformer Martin Luther. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president.
With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962, and organized nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response.
There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.”
~~Some visitors made comments on the original post that are worth mentioning here.~~
“In my youth, I witnessed some of the prejudices Dr. King spoke of and stood against, some of which still exist today, though not as open. Funny, you don’t realize the extent of it, when it surrounds you and you’re living it. It’s expected and a culture that is passed on from generation to generation. I guess you have to get away from it, like I did in moving west, to get a different perspective.
As a child, I visited my grandparents every summer along with my sister and five cousins. They lived in a small, southern town, just a couple of blocks from downtown on main street. Their house was the dividing line where whites and blacks lived. From their house into downtown is where whites predominantly lived and from their house heading out-of-town to the highway was where blacks predominantly lived, unless hired hands on the farms. Then, they lived in migrant-worker shacks not far from the fields.
On one side, we had a black neighbor, who lived with a woman who said she was his common-law wife. Their houses were separated by a huge hedge, across the driveway that grew almost above the neighbor’s porch. Over the years, my grandfather and his neighbor had heated shouting matches from the front porch or sidewalk. They couldn’t stand the sight of each other and took turns setting off one or the other. Occasionally, the police were called and one of them was served with a subpoena and hauled into court.
One night, we heard a woman shouting from the street. She was mad, cussing and storming up and down the sidewalk in front of our neighbor’s house. She said she was his wife. She had come home and found him with another woman – his common-law wife.”
Full Credit/Reaf Full article: http://plaintalkandordinarywisdom.com/beyond-the-dream/
~~THANK YOU PAT …. for your wonderful post~~
“My grandparents were not perfect, they had their biases but didn’t believe in treating anyone as less than. in 1960 they were in Alabama traveling by car and stopped at a restaurant for a bite to eat. A black man came in and was told the “black” room was full. He asked if he could please sit at the counter for a glass of something cold to drink as he was overheated from working. He was told there was a hose outside he could use.
My grandfather angry at his treatment, waited for his food to be brought to him, asked for a go-to container and immediately boxed up their meals, paid the bill (no tip) and proceeded to hand the food to the man who was denied service. He then drove to the next town before ordering a meal for himself and my grandmother.
There are good people out there and I hope every day the good will win out over the prejudices that still survive.”
“The first day of the Montgomery Bus Boycott was coordinated to take place on the same day as Rosa Parks trial. Fred Gray represented her in the trial.
That evening Martin Luther King gave the speech of what Fred Gray described as “what would become know as the pep-talk for each of the Monday night mass meetings” during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Here is an excerpt that I copied from Attorney Fred Gray’s book “Bus Ride to Justice” (pp. 57-58):
These talks were for many their first glimpse of the genius that was within Martin Luther King, Jr. He was elected president of the MIA at a meeting at which he was not present, at Zion A.M.E. Church on South Holt and Stone streets. He presided over a cross section of preachers, three college professors (including one woman), two physicians, three housewives, a Pullman porter, and most of the rest being preachers.
He soon became the favorite of all of them. He rose in stature to the point that many of the women who attended mass meeting after mass meeting could be heard to say, “Just let me touch his garmet.”
Yet Martin appeared to have never lost the common touch. He could calm the rivalries which arose among some of the ministers on occasion. Before MIA board meetings, Martin was always alert to congratulate someone for some deed of kindness.
He was jovial, at a well-bred ease and aware of events in the neighborhood, or asking those present about matters which might have escaped him. But those qualities were qualities which were generally not yet realized on the night of the first mass meeting.”
Here is what John Lewis wrote about Martin Luther King in his autobiography entitled “Walking with the Wind.”
And, then on a Sunday morning in early 1955, I was listening to our radio, turned to WRMA out of Montgomery, as always, when on the air came a sermon by a voice that I’d never heard before, a young minister from Atlanta. I didn’t catch his name until the sermon was finished, but the voice held me from the start.
It was a strong voice, a deep voice, clearly well trained and well schooled in the rhythmic singsong, old-style tradition of black Baptist preaching we call whooping. There’s a creative pacing to that style of sermonizing, a cadence, with lots of crescendos and dramatic pauses and drawing out of word endings as if holding a note of a song. It’s so much like singing. He really could make his words SING.
But, even more than his voice, it was his message that sat me bolt upright with amazement. His sermon was titled “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians.” He’d taken it from Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, in which Paul criticized complacent Christians for their selfishness and failures of brotherhood.
He adapted it to what was happening here, right now, on the streets of Montgomery, Alabama. I listened, as this man spoke about how it wasn’t enough for black people to be concerned only with getting to the Promised Land in the hereafter, about how it was not enough for people to be concerned with roads that are paved with gold, and the gates to the Kingdom of God.
He said we needed to be concerned with the gates of schools that were closed to black people and the doors of stores that refused to hire or serve us. His message was one of love and the Gospel, but he was applying those principles to NOW, to today. Every minister I’d ever heard talked about “over yonder,” where we’d put on the white robes and golden slippers and sit with the angels. But this man was talking about dealing with the problems people were facing in their lives right now, specifically black lives in the South.
This was the first time I had ever heard something I would soon learn was called the social gospel–taking the teachings of the Bible and applying them to the earthbound problems and issues confronting a community and a society.
I was on fire with the words I was hearing. I felt that this man–his name was Martin Luther King Jr.–was speaking directly to me. This young preacher was giving voice to everything I’d been feeling and fighting to figure out for years.
When I got to school that Monday, I went straight to the library to find out anything I could about this man. There wasn’t much, but I did come across a small newspaper article describing his appointment the previous September as resident pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery.
~~HE HAD A DREAM~~
Short Version of I Have A Dream Speech
We ALL are ONE!!!
~~BIGGER THAN LIFE~~
We ALL have DREAMS!!