Tag: Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrances


There are, of course, a multitude of memorials to the life of Rev. King, as there should be on the day set aside to recall what he did for America and, not to put a damper on these occasions, to mourn at what he would think if he could see what has been done to his dream of being judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin. I thought I would set out below links to some of the most thoughtful of these writings and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Dr. Clayborne Carson, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University and the Founding Editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. He describes the larger political and spiritual lessons Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) sought to impart regarding nonviolent protest, and the complex relationship among Dr. King, the SCLC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and less well-known civil rights figures like the late Bob P. Moses. They discuss how hymns and literary works such as Langston Hughes’s 1951 poem “Harlem (A Dream Deferred),” strongly influenced Dr. King’s sermons and speeches. Dr. Carson compares how racial issues have differed in Southern and Northern cities, noting MLK’s 1966 Chicago Campaign. They explore whether K-12 U.S. history instruction sufficiently covers the Civil Rights era compared to other important periods, and Dr. Carson offers insights on how policymakers, schools, and parents can draw on lessons from the Civil Rights era to better understand race in America. He concludes with a description of the World House Documentary Film Festival, a free, four-day webinar and virtual film festival celebrating MLK, beginning on January 14th.

Stories of the Week: In London, staff shortages from a spike in COVID cases have forced many early education programs to reduce their hours of operation or close. In an era in which technology is replacing books, how can we ensure our children develop the habits that lead to lifelong reading? An EdWeek story explores this question, which is important because long-form and pleasure reading are linked with higher academic performance.

Quote of the Day: MLK on Our Colleges


“If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, ‘brethren!’ Be careful, teachers!” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Despite failings, Martin Luther King, Jr., was a man of remarkable vision. He stated this over 60 years ago. Back then our colleges and universities were centers of academic excellence, stressing the importance of finding knowledge through constant questioning and by challenging the conventional verities. Today? They are occupied by close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of a landmark trilogy on the Civil Rights era, America in the King Years. They discuss the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday the nation observed on Monday. They review Dr. King’s powerful, moving oratory, drawing on spiritual and civic ideals to promote nonviolent protest against racial injustice, and how, as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he shared leadership of the movement with organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. They also discuss the pivotal role that school-aged children played in the successes of the Civil Rights Movement, and how to talk with schoolchildren today about those heart-wrenching images such as six-year-old Ruby Bridges being escorted by U.S. marshals as she desegregated the New Orleans Public Schools, and young students facing Bull Connor’s dogs and fire hoses in Alabama. Branch shares thoughts on how to ensure that the women involved in the movement, including Septima Clark, Ella Baker, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Diane Nash, receive due credit for their contributions. He concludes with a reading from one of his books.

Stories of the Week: President-elect Biden is backing up his pledge to get kids back to school with a proposed $130 million in stimulus funds to cover the costs of reconfiguring K-12 classrooms, improving ventilation, personal protective equipment, and other social distancing requirements. Will the cash infusion work, and will support be offered to income-eligible private school students? A U.S. Government Accountability Office study takes a close look at school improvement efforts across all states, with some promising findings.

It Didn’t Have to Be This Bad


Martin Luther King Jr. would be heartbroken. The apostle of nonviolence who did so much to lift up black Americans has been succeeded by a thugocracy that expresses grievances through violence and criminal behavior. The dreamer who yearned for an America where his children would be judged not by their skin color but by the “content of their character” has been replaced by leaders aggressively promoting “identity politics.”

I remember an America of the 1950s that nobody thought was perfect, but where conditions were ceaselessly improving. America was owning up to its legacy of slavery and Jim Crow and determined to change it.

Economic conditions for black families were rapidly improving. Barriers to education, voting, and professional advancement were being swept aside. I thought myself fortunate to undoubtedly be a member of the first generation ever where race just wouldn’t matter that much.

MLK, the City of St. Augustine, and Racism


On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I was reminded of the trips we have made to St. Augustine, FL.

When tourists go to St. Augustine, many focus on the local fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, the candy factory, or listen to commentary about the countries that fought for control of Florida. On one of our trips, however, we located a quiet part of town, a neighborhood of discreet older homes with nicely trimmed lawns. These homes are a testament to the resilience of, and commitment to, the City of St. Augustine by the black community:

Founded in 1866 by former slaves, the district remained relatively static until the late 19th century. Segregationist practices that swept the South between 1890 and 1910 spurred the growth of black owned and operated commercial enterprises. Washington Street in the district became the heart of the black business community. In 1877 the “People’s Ticket” that included black Republican D.M. Pappy, a leader in the Lincolnville community, swept city elections. By the early 20th century Lincolnville was a major subdivision of St. Augustine with a high level of political participation among its residents. In 1964 St. Augustine became a focal point for the Civil Rights Movement.

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In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. – Martin Luther King, 16 April, 1963 It might be the engineer/manager in me, but a good framework helps accomplish the goal. The injustices – are they valid? Negotiate with the people […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy learning that the Democratic National Committee is still mired in chaos and that the liberal establishment and the Bernie Sanders supporters are still feuding more than a year after the 2016 campaign and just months before the midterm elections.  They also groan as the threat of a government shutdown looms and some Republicans think they can win the public relations battle, even though the media always pin the blame on Republicans, regardless of the circumstances.  And they shred CNN for co-opting the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. to advance progressive environmental policies and for suggesting King was a socialist “before it was cool.”

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(Click on the image above or here to view the full video) Across America today a debate is raging over the removal of confederate statues. Some say they are shameful reminders of a past best forgotten while others worry about the wisdom of erasing history this way and wonder where it will all end. In […]

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I’ve recently taken to the Rico-Twitter feed as a source of entertainment, and many times information or a unique perspective. I happened across this story of a group of ministers who want the bust of Margaret Sanger removed from an exhibit at the Smithsonian. One excerpt from the article: Preview Open

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Selma Won’t Win an Oscar Because of Democrat Distortions


Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._and_Lyndon_Johnson_3God cannot alter the past, though historians can. Samuel Butler

The movie Selma is about Dr. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery to help the Voting Rights Act get passed. It’s a good movie, but there is one major historical inaccuracy and one major historical omission.

The antagonist to Dr. King in the movie is President Johnson, who is shown trying everything to stop the march, even underhanded and unseemly things involving the FBI. Transcripts of talks between LBJ and King, however, show that LBJ not only supported King’s agitations, he encouraged them.