By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
|Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.|
Well the first big holiday of 2015 is upon us - that of the celebration of the life, times, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And never has it been more special and significant as it is now. Here we are 47 years since his assassination still fighting battles that he tried to win for us: the grunge juries in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island. NY - respectively less than one month ago - refused to indict policemen who had committed egregious crimes by killing two, innocent and unarmed Black men.
However, unlike so many horrific incidences in the past, the people coalesced to do something about it - to make their voices heard. They organized marches in the street, they boycotted stores and businesses that supported the grunge jury or the police perpetrators. This is all in the spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was a leading exponent of people protesting and banding together and standing for their rights, regardless of the political expediency, societal consternation, "legal" ramifications.
Across the US Black people refused to participate in the traditional Black Friday day after Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, affecting the bottom lines of countless numbers of major department stores. Urging consumers to buy Black has brought into focus thousands of Black owned businesses that many were not aware of. Additionally, the continuation of HANDS UP! Wednesdays, has likewise continued the pledge to not shop in other than Black businesses on Wednesdays, and to either keep their money in their pockets or to invest it in the future of a Black child.
These are all inspirations from the Great Reverend Dr. MLK.
I had the privilege of attending the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH 3-day Wall Street Project for Economic Development, which wrapped up on Dr. King's actual birthday, January 15th, this year. The actual summit, which was started by Rev. Jackson 18 years ago, was inspired by Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign, and the fact that people were not only disenfranchised by racial discrimination, political discrimination, but by economic discrimination as well. Rev. Jackson had long been trying to bring a movement toward economic parity, based on the King principles, to Black people and people of color.
|Rev. Jesse Jackson Black in the Day|
He has been very successful in bringing on board major businesses and corporations who have been instrumental in opening their doors to African Americans, providing them the training, jobs, opportunities as an opportunity to move from poverty to prosperity.
Young children in schools around New York City have brought home literature on Rev. King, whom they studied before the holiday break. Parents are urged to take them to events around the city, or talk to them about who Dr. King was and what he stood for. I want Black parents, especially, to be very clear about the life and legacy of Dr. King, who was not just a "man of peace" as depicted in the watered down version of his life in Scholastic magazine - he was a man who fought and died for Black people. He was a man of peace who stood up against white racists who were anything but peaceful. And he was a man not afraid to stand for his people and their rights. And above all, Black parents especially should both learn and teach their children how to pronounce Dr. King's name appropriately - it is not "mar-then lufa - king junja!!!" It is pronounced MAR-TEN LU-THER KING, JOON-YOR! It is an insult to hear his name mispronounced because some are either too lazy or ignorant to take the time to say it correctly. The magnitude of this great BLACK man deserves better. Keep practicing it with your children, and yourself if you're guilty of it, until you say it right. Teachers, likewise, should be practicing their students in the correct pronunciation of his name. It has great meaning and deserves great respect. How could we expect others to respect our heroes, if we don't take the time to make sure we ourselves are showing respect as well. (by the way, if you hear it mispronounced by teens - and you will - as the adult in the room, take the time to also give them the appropriate pronunciation as well - take a stand for our legacy). Now that I've gotten that pet peeve off my chest, here are some of the activities that are taking place so far - and by the way, this is definitely not an exhaustive list - because Dr. King's holiday is being celebrated in so many venues, churches, corporations - I don't have the space to list them all here.
The Pennsylvania State Black Legislative Caucus, in keeping with the memory and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is sponsoring a three-day Civil Rights Week End, which is taking place throughout Philly.
Today, Saturday, January 17, 2015, the entire day is devoted to Dr. King's Legacy followed by a Day of Service and a Civil Rights Achievement Awards 2015 event:
Saturday, January 17, 2015:
For those of a more pro-active bent, please make sure you turn out for the demonstration and rally which will take place on Monday, January 19, in downtown Philadelphia:
Public · Volunteering · Hosted by Reclam MLK PHL
The demands that #ReclaimMLK coalition has developed: - End the use of “Stop and Frisk” start an Independent Police Review Board that is fully empowered and funded; $15 per hour minimum wage; the right to form unions;and a fully funded, democratically controlled local school system. To read more about these demands, visit the facebook event. You'll also find flyers, ways to volunteer, and details on the march route here.
In a communique from the MAYOR'S OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS: Mayor Nutter will attend the following events on Saturday January 17.
|Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter|
4:00PM Selma Movie Screening - Mayor Nutter to deliver brief remarks.
City of Philadelphia, Citizens Bank and community leaders will host Philadelphia youth to see Selma - Pearl Theater at Avenue North, 1600 N. Broad Street
Mayor Nutter will attend the following events on Monday January 19:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
8:00 AM: Mayor Nutter will welcome volunteers to a Day of Service event hosted by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation in partnership with PECO and the Mural Arts Program. Martin Luther King Recreation Center, 2101Cecil B. Moore Ave.
20th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
9:00AM Mayor Nutter will lead volunteers in making multi-lingual “Vote Here” signs to be posted at polling locations on election day. Girard College, Armory, 2101 South College Avenue
Look to see you at at least one, if not all, of these wonderful events.
Stay Blessed &
www.gloriadulanwilson.blogspot.com/ECLECTICALLY BLACK NEWS