Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Martin Luther King Jr - Happy Birthday!

It's not celebrated outside the US, but there aren't many people who haven't heard of Martin Luther King, Jr.

He's a leader if there ever was one - unafraid to live his beliefs at the risk of his life and those of his family.

I don't know all that much about King save the stuff most other people know - thankfully Black Civil Rights was part of our history curriculum - so I'll post some links to some more insightful stuff I've come across recently.

Martin Luther King, Birmingham, and the great letter
The Prophetic Voice
The content of our character - King's dream and ours
The Martin Luther King, Jr Papers Project (have your speakers turned up)
Wikipedia's list of further links


At 10:11 PM, Blogger Borscht said...

Simon's erudite post brings to mind a famous TV series written by Alex Haley from the 1980s ('85, I believe) called ROOTS which was a revolution in television-making for its time. David L. Wolper was the producer.

The details you can read about in David L. Wolper's book PRODUCER.

The further we get from the period of JIM CROW laws south of the US' Mason-Dixon Line, the more disaffected we become as a society to the entire Civil Rights Movement.

For as contentious as it was -- we today experience difficulty conjuring up the intensity of the era.

The struggle between the Nation of Islam and the more pacifist-minded Christian/Baptist/Evangelical Blacks during the 1960s remains a mystery to the today's youth.

I don't express this as a means of self-aggrandizement --> it's simply shocking that increasingly less is known about this period than is safe to admit.

I recommend the following films to return to basics:

Mississpi Burning
Malcolm X

These three four films (in chronological release order) offer up contrasting viewpoints on the notion of Civil Rights.

These following images are top-of-mind:

** forced rape by slave masters -- the horrifying rape imagery is enough to insill abject fear into those (dareisay) imaginative enough to conjure it up.

** Black slaves in shackles and manacles. Being lead from Auction to their respective Plantations.

** the obsfucation and duplicity of the US North (the 'Union') -- with victor's history being rewritten strictly from their perspective.

** the cramped hovels and caskets in which the slaves were transported across the stormy Atlantic.

** the destruction of hundreds of years of indigenous African heritage which should be abhorent to any but the least culture-philic peoples.

These course through my mind on this very day.

I salute the good Dr. King.

-- Adam


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