4.04.2010

Pause: 42nd anniversary of the assassination of Civil Rights Leader, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr


Over 2 billion Christians around the world are observing Easter weekend, closing out today with "Resurrection Sunday". I do not observe this holiday but I remember when I was a young man growing up in BeBee Tabernacle Church in Houston, I was always given the task of singing an Easter Sunday solo. The song was "Jesus is the Answer" and I would be sweating bullets under my suit from the department store Weiners.

And I remember asking my pastor for the meaning of that song and he said "One day Jesse you will come to know it". I did learn. Thank you Paster Covington.

I also remembered that today marks the 42nd anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I am not posting this to debate philosophies about violence vs. non-violence, hate vs love or mobilization tactics.




Rather this is just a blog of gratitude for his sacrifice and the sacrifices of his late wife Coretta Scott King and their children. When I was a student at Fonwood Elementary, I remember us only talking about Dr. King during Black History Month when we would do short reenactments of moments during the civil rights movement era. It was during that time we only quoted the "I Have A Dream" speech, so naturally we only saw him as that--"The Dreamer".

But as I got older and read more, I saw Dr. King as more than a dreamer. He was a community soldier and in his last years he began to speak truth to power that disturbed the leaders of the United States at the time.

Why?

Because they preferred that he just focus on integrating toilets and restaurants than for him to start speaking out against the Vietnam War. By the time of his death in '68 at the Lorraine Motel, he had refocused his efforts on fighting poverty along with beating the anti-war drum.

He spoke out--his mindset was changing.

At only the age of 39, gone too soon.

--Brother Jesse Muhammad


A few Dr. King quotables:

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns."

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice."

Bonus Video: "Afghanistan (HerStory)" by Jasiri X features powerful words by Dr. King about the Vietnam War.