16 January 2006

Long Live The King

Thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his supporters, legal segregation of blacks in the South does not formally exist anymore. To think that just 50-some years ago, racially separate schools, restrooms, and water fountains existed is truly baffling. MLK day recognizes a man who was the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the dominant force in the civil rights movement of the late fifties and sixties. Through his philosophy of non-violent resistance, he was able to move and shake our American and global society in profound ways that have had lasting effects. Though threatened, jailed, humiliated, abused, he did not give up hope, faith, love, charisma, or perseverance.

Some MLK quotes:

"One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to stay awake through great periods of social change. But today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to stay vigilant, and face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this worldwide neighborhood into a world wide brotherhood."

"I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their tired bodies, education and culture for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up."

"I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the alters of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and non-violent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land 'and the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.' I still believe that we shall overcome."

"Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - 'we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal'. This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning 'My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!' And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.'"

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love."

2 Comments:

At 2:16 PM, Blogger EmmaSometimes said...

GOOD words!

I am surprised at the lack of posts on MLK Jr. and the holiday. You said it well!

I just found out my church over in Oregon had MLK Jr. speak on three different occasions when it was once a Baptist Church. He was an amazing force that left us far too young with so much more to do.

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger Sophia said...

Thanks for the comment! :) I really admire him a lot.

 

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