Tag Archives: martin luther king

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. Always and Forever

10 Apr

In honor of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. who was taken from us 50 years ago. All I can say is this:

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARTIN

 

50 years

like yesterday

motel. balcony. sky.

remembrance of reading book

was it elementary school when

I turned pages

got queasy from

birds-eye view of crew cut

blond bristles exposing pale skull

eye glasses, gun rising

hands up don’t shoot

didn’t see it coming

except night before

you intimated

we’d have to

go on without you

but how

when you led us

mountaintop full of hope

dashed

thine eyes have

seen the glory

dashed

grateful, reverent

reverend king

dream not deferred

dashed

what would you preach today

what salve soothes

seeing arms not linked, but

not german shepherds

hoses spraying in selma, but

hands up don’t shoot

 

instead: teargas, tanks, rubber bullets

over ferguson

bodies of young men,

boys, women

falling from balconies

armed with dreams

of living while

walking while black

dreams of

not being

pulled over

felled not by

officers with dogs

but officers with real bullets

now you have birds-eye view

you see the voices of

the unheard

rise up

once again

you see fannie

pass the baton to

alicia, patrisse, opal

you see your principles

in action in streets

across this make

america great again nation

and see the jail letter

still holds water

salt water tears

stream down cheeks

us missing you martin

live on everlasting promise of

promised land

I promised you

I wouldn’t forget

and told my daughters

to promise

to remember

when they march

the streets

arms linked

with fellow students

so that one day

your dream for them

comes true

 

A Tip Of The Hat And A Fist Raise To All The Anti-Racism Activists Past, Present, and Future

23 Dec

freedom-project-photo-w-text-web

light-brown-raised-fistI want to give major props to all the activists out there fighting the good fight. The good, hard, exhausting, frustrating, dangerous fight against racism. Personal racism. Systemic racism. Institutional racism. Jim Crow racism. The New Jim Crow racism. And every other kind of anti-Black racism in-between.

See, I’m like a baby taking its first steps when it comes to learning what it means to organize, to march, to protest, to take concrete political action to fight against racism.  Before this year, the only two things I could put on my activist’s resume was […]

Selma: The Movie and Community Dialogue in Providence, RI

12 Jan

This past weekend, I attended a private screening party of Ava DuVernay’s film, Selma, which was held at the Providence Place Mall Cinema.  The event was sponsored by the Providence NAACP, and the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

DuVernay’s Selma, focuses on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work and planned marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965, and the many working with him, and against him, to further civil rights causes, in particular the fight to pass the Voting Rights Act.  Like many who  during the post-film dialogue referenced the ages they were during this time period, I remembered how old I was– […]

Honoring Two Heroes: MLK and Mandela via Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and The Root

20 Jan

Today, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, my thoughts were of King, and yet also, of another role model and hero of mine, the great, Nelson Mandela.  I was glad then to see this article from The Root by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in my email inbox today.  Dr. King has been an inspiration to me ever since I was a young girl, and even more so as an adult, finally more conscious to receive, understand and act in my day-to-day life on his message of equality, justice, and speaking up for what is right.

Please follow the link to Gates’s article, to read how the first official, national Martin Luther King Day back in 1986 had direct ties to Nelson Mandela and apartheid in South Africa.

 

http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2014/01/_1st_king_holiday_and_nelson_mandela.html?wpisrc=topstories

photo credit: www.bidorby.co.za

Wendy Jane Goes To The Mountaintop

3 Feb

Okay, I’m not that grandiose or flip to compare my journey with the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I did, however, go to the play, The Mountaintop, at Cambridge’s Central Square Theater (CST) this week.

The play, written by renowned African American playwright, Katori Hall, was directed at CST by Megan Sandberg-Zakian, and stars Kami Rushell Smith and Maurice Emmanuel Parent.   CST houses two theaters under its wings, The Underground Railway Theater, (Artistic Director, Debra Wise), and The Nora Theater Company (Artistic Director, Mary C. Huntington).  The Mountaintop was an  Underground Railway production.

The entire play takes place in […]

Wendy Jane’s Quote For The Weekend: Please Save The Day, MLK

24 Aug

This Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, said decades ago, and posted by my friend, Tracy, on Facebook yesterday, seems oh so timely this week in light of the comment made about “legitimate rape” rarely causing pregnancy by Republican candidate for Missouri Senator, Tod Akin.  Another frightening deduction, while made some months ago by Tennessee Senator, Stacey Campbell was also posted on FB just yesterday.  In it, Campbell is quoted as saying how we “all know how AIDS came from the homosexual community, and how it “started with a monkey and a man having sex, an airline pilot, and then…” well, you get the picture.

 

Please, please listen to Martin, people!

 

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

5 Apr

Here on Wendy Jane’ Soul Shake,  I try to think about what has shaped me, and  rekindled this conscious desire to make race relations between black and white people a focus in my life now.

Yesterday, was the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I know that MLK had a lot to do with the strong feelings I developed as a child around social justice for black people.  I was only seven years old when he was taken from this world, but I swear I remember seeing images from the funeral on television–of Coretta with the veiled hat that couldn’t hide her grief, of Martin’s children, of the thousands of mourners in the street.  I knew who he was.  I knew how he was trying to make things fair for black people.  I knew how wrong things were from seeing, again on television, images of black men and women being arrested at a lunch counter sit-in, being hosed down by police officers, and being attacked by those officers’ German shepherd dogs.

These things stay with you.  At least, they stayed with me.

I never stop thinking of Martin as an inspiration, and a figure of hope, whose words we still need to strive to live by today.  So, when I went to Atlanta, Georgia for the first time last summer for a blogging workshop, I was excited to visit the Ebenezer Baptist Church, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Museum.

I wasn’t prepared though, for what my reaction would be upon entering the sanctuary of the church.  It was a humble space, not unlike the feeling of the temple I worshiped at as a young Jewish girl growing up in Waterbury.  I took in the peach colored walls, the high white, vaulted ceiling, the stained glass windows, and the dark wooden pews resting upon red carpeting.  Fresh flowers were on the pulpit.  It was as if Martin could appear anytime to give a sermon.

I sat in one of the pews.  A recording of one of Martin’s sermons began to  play over speakers in the sanctuary.  I started to cry.  I can’t even remember what was being said.  It was his voice.  His booming voice, his brave voice, his passionate voice, his belief in equality, and love, and peace, and justice for all voice.

I cried for the next two hours at the MLK Museum, too.   I cried when I read about the effects of slavery and institutionalized racism on the psyches of Black Americans.  I cried when I read about Martin’s passion and will to fight for racial, and later, economic equality, but also learned of his humanness, his vulnerability, of the times he thought he couldn’t go on, but knew that he must, and did.  Until, his life was cut short, and he could no longer fight the fight.

I will never forget what Martin Luther King, Jr. did for this nation, and for all the world to see.  And, I will never forget what he did for me, a little white girl watching from afar, but feeling close enough to want to live his dream.