30 April 2012

on today,

in 1983,

Robert C. Maynard becomes the first African American to gain a controlling interest in a major metropolitan newspaper when he buys the Oakland Tribune from Gannett.
Robert C. Maynard, a charismatic leader who changed the face of American journalism, built a four decade career on the cornerstones of editorial integrity, community involvement, improved education and the importance of the family. He was the co-founder of the Institute for Journalism Education, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to expanding opportunities for minority journalists at the nation's newspapers. In the past 20 years, it has trained hundreds of America's journalists of color, more than any other organization.

Maynard was born on June 17, 1937. He was one of six children born to Samuel C. Maynard and Robertine Isola Greaves, both immigrants from Barbados. At 16 years old, he dropped out of Brooklyn High School to pursue his passion for writing.
Maynard’s career in journalism began in 1961 at York Gazette & Daily in York, Pennsylvania. In 1966, he received a Nieman fellowship to Harvard University and joined the editorial staff of the Washington Post the following year.
In 1977, Maynard co-founded the Institute for Journalism Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to training journalists of color and providing accurate representation of minorities in the news media. For more than thirty years, the Institute has trained over 1000 journalists and editors from multicultural backgrounds across the United States.

For more than 23 years, the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (MIJE) has prepared newspaper professionals and managers to operate effectively and creatively in multicultural communities.
The Maynard Institute annually conducts the five-week Management Training Center at Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and the five-week Editing Program at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. The Institute's week-long Cross-Media Journalism program offers storytelling techniques and strategies for broadcast, print, and the Internet at sites across the country.
MIJE's History Project documents and preserves an untold era of American journalism by chronicling the contributions of a generation of black journalists who changed mainstream news coverage. Highlights include an online serial, "The Caldwell Journals," a personal account of the black journalist movement written by legendary reporter and columnist Earl Caldwell. 2001 marks the launch of an oral histories collection at the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center in New York.
In 1979, Maynard took over as editor of The Oakland Tribune and became the first African American to own a major metropolitan newspaper after purchasing the paper two years later. He is widely recognized for turning around the then struggling newspaper and transforming it into a 1990 Pulitzer Prize winning journal.

After a decade of ownership by Bob and Nancy Maynard, the newspaper had won hundreds of awards for editorial excellence. One media critic described the change: "The Tribune covers the Oakland area with far more insight than do its wealthier competitors in nearby San Francisco and the suburbs, and the paper has become a kind of journalistic farm team for larger papers such as the Los Angeles Times.
Maynard greatly valued community involvement. He taught at local high schools and frequently attended community forums. His positive, proactive outlook helped many in need including children of cocaine-addicted mothers and earthquake and firestorm victims. Maynard wielded the outreach of his newspaper to better the community by pushing for improved schools, trauma care centers, and economic development.
Robert Maynard was a board member of the industry's most prestigious organizations, including the Pulitzer Prize, The Associated Press, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. It was his lobbying in the 1970s that nudged the ASNE to adopt the goal of diversifying America's newsrooms by the year 2000.
In the 1980s, Maynard began a twice-weekly syndicated newspaper column, in which he transformed national and international issues into dinner table discussions of right and wrong. His views were widely broadcast through regular appearances on "This Week With David Brinkley" and the "MacNeil Lehrer Report."
"This country cannot be the country we want it to be if its story is told by only one group of citizens. Our goal is to give all Americans front door access to the truth," he said in May of 1993 during his last public address, to college students at The Freedom Forum, in Arlington, Va.
The Institute he co-founded with his second wife Nancy Hicks Maynard (1947–2008) was renamed in his honor after his death from prostate cancer in 1993. His daughter, Dori J. Maynard, has since become President and CEO of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

 --courtesy myblackhistory.net

This country cannot be the country we want it to be if its story is told by only one group of citizens. Our goal is to give all Americans front door access to the truth.

The President Obama at White House Correspondents Dinner

In need of inspiration?

The Negraph

Did you know

There is an app that provides a simplified user inteface and aims to guide the user to a clear understanding of whether or not they can use the "N" word ? The app utilizes user input in order to run a series of algorithms and heuristical statements in order to determine absolute correctness.








App Screenshots

 This is a real app. I saw a skit about it on the Key & Peele show on Comedy Central.  I don't think anyone should ever say that word, however, my caucasian friends and acquaintances know not to as much as utter that word within listening distance of me without facing the consequences.

Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.
                   --Marcus Aurelius

26 April 2012

The "Dead Screw" Law

Egypt's "Farewell Intercourse" Law May Soon Allow Husbands to Have Sex with Their Dead Wives


 Egyptian husbands may soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives for up to six hours after they have been pronounced dead, under a controversial new law dubbed “Farewell InEgyptian husbands may soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives for up to six hours after they have been pronounced dead, under a controversial new law dubbed “Farewell Intercourse” that could soon come into effect.  

The “Farewell Intercourse” law is only one of the many other new laws being introduced by Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament, like the lowering the legal marriage age to 14-years-old and abolishing women’s right to education and employment, according to The Daily Mail. 
The proposed law, which will essentially legalize necrophilia for up to six hours, has caused outrage in the country and Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) has appealed to parliament not to approve the sex-after-death lowering the age of marriage law that are “marginalizing and undermining the status of women would negatively affect the country's human development.”
The draft rule, if passed, would also permit women to have sex with their dead husbands.

The subject of marital sex after death surfaced May of last year when Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari said that marriage remains binding even after death, and that people have the right to have sex with their dead spouses, alarabiya.net reported.
Egyptian journalist and TC anchor Jaber al-Qarmouty criticized the “Farewell Intercourse” draft law as being “unbelievable” and a “catastrophe”.
“Has the Islamic trend reached that far?  Is there really a draft law in this regard? Are there people thinking in this manner?” he asked.

Yeah, but only up to 6 hours after death. I mean really... at 6:01, who’d wanna? Under their complete rule, it seems all women would be metaphorically dead anyway...so the dead sex rule would almost be... necessary?

This, of course is morbid, disgusting,  and every barbaric term you can think of, but I have a question- how would the widow have sex with her dead husband?



Question of the day

Tupac performed via hologram recently at Coachella.  What deceased performers would you like to see perform via Hologram? 

My choices:

J Dilla
Clare Fischer
Michael  Jackson
Luther Vandross
Teena Marie
Rick James
Richard Pryor
Miles Davis
John Coltrane

What are your choices?

WTF moment


I'm on the train this morning headed to work, and this older white-haired lady is staring at me either  like she had never seen ablack man before or she was afraid I might beat her up.  I don't know what kind of look I had on my face (though most people say I always look pissed off until I smile), but the young man who was sitting with her smiled at me and said :

"Sorry for the stares, sir. This is my grandmother's first time outside of Finland. She's only seen black people for the first time this morning when I picked her up at the airport."

Song on heavy rotation this morning

25 April 2012

Listening to ...

It is what it is

I'm not sure what the future holds but I do know that I'm going to be positive and not wake up feeling desperate. As my dad said "Nic, it is what it is, it's not what it should have been, not what it could have been, it is what it is --Nicole Kidman

Slow Jam The News with Barack Obama: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

24 April 2012

- extra

I don't believe in reincarnation (but just in case there is an earthly life beyond this one, I'll be

extra good
extra kind
extra lovable
extra compassionate
extra giving
extra sweet
extra patient
extra chivalrous- as I always am, naturally,
to assure that the lives between this current one and the Heavenly one will be filled with everything I am lacking in this life) , I believe in heaven after this life.

And in reaping and sowing.

23 April 2012

A Proverb

   The one who throws the stone forgets; the one who is hit remembers forever.
                 -Angolan proverb

22 April 2012

In the past 96 hours

  1+1= 3 2

  • I told my mom, my brother, and his wife that I was finally seeing someone that shows promise.
  • I wrote 4 poems about her.
  • I was forced to watch and thoroughly enjoyed the movie Meet Joe Black.
  • I  baked 2 pineapple upside down cakes, one for a party, another for sale.
  • I completed my novella Medicine for the Nightmare.
  • I took my girlfriend's 2 sons (ages 6 and 9)  to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry while she  had to work.
  • I helped one of them with his math homework.
  • The other one helped me with my french.
  • We had a picnic and then stopped by Voodoo Donuts after their mom was called in to work.
  • I learned another life lesson.
  • We saw their mother at the Farmer's Market, an hour later, casually walking, holding another guy's hand and kissing on his neck--

20 April 2012

Facebook Status update from Chris Rock

Chris Rock
 "They say that Zimmerman is free because he's not a flight risk and not a danger to the community HE KILLED A GUY what the hell do you have to do in Florida to be a danger to the community ?"

My response was- Be a Black male.

a word to the wise

A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.
   --Bill Cosby

18 April 2012

Listening to ...

* 69

Let's do it now, it's me and you

Close my eyes Erotica, I'm seein' you

Listen to me wishin' I could be with you

To share my love and ecstasy with you

Are you alone? Is your shorty sleep?

Hold on. That's okay, ignore the beep

For you, my love is immortal deep

You are my queen but I can't ignore the freak

Let's let our bodies talk and our auras speak

Hold on, gotta get the toiletries

As our waters reach distances unheard of

I'm in the room nestled sweet and I observe love

Only for you, I ask God to show me the truth

What he showed me was you

Wherever I go, my soul leads to you

Days gone, nights lonely for you

Erotica - Wet dreams are on my mind

Erotica - Can I come in your mind?

Erotica - Oh yes, our love must shine

Erotica - Wish on star 69

Erotica - Wish on star 69

Erotica-ca-ca - Wish on star 69


Wish on star 69, erotica...

So much I wish you were here with me now

My bad, I just hit redial

I want you to come and never leave now

Is your mind and your right hand free now?

Our love-reach deep down inside of it

As the candle burns

where desire's lit

Makin' love knows no distance or environment

When we (ahh), feel the most high in it

I feel you touchin' me and I begin to rise from it

Your love is stuck in me

Our minds are so alive and thick

Picture my hands on your waist

As I stare in your face

Your mouth half open

Your love I can taste

Embracin' you

Life: I let go

Gotta switch phones 'cause this one is ghetto

Another level of love we create when we take it to

And when it's made, Erotica, it's made for you

Erotica - Wet dreams are on my mind

Erotica - Can I come in your mind?

Erotica - Oh yes, our love must shine

Erotica - Wish on star 69

Erotica - Wish on star 69

Erotica-ca-ca - Wish on star 69


Slave to your loneliness

"Slave to your loneliness..."

Inside of loneliness

"Inside this (alt we bear)"

With love of loneliness

"With thoughts of loneliness"

Enslaved by loneliness

I want you to come

Inside your mind

And find a place

Nasty and kind

This is where

our desires grind

And where they peak

Is most divine

A place and time

I hope we reach together

You are my queen

And freak forever

I feel you in-side my stomach

My body shakes...

Erotica - Wet dreams are on my mind

Erotica - Can I come in your mind?

Erotica - Oh yes, our love must shine

Erotica - Wish on star 69

Erotica - Wish on star 69

Erotica-ca-ca - Wish on star 69


Common,  Star 69 (P.S. with love)

N'Dambi does Prince

Did she do the song justice?

If you're brown, stick around; Acura commercial casting call requested 'friendly, not too dark' African-American

Acura commercial casting call requested 'friendly, not too dark' African-American

A casting document from Japanese car company Acura has leaked. It explicitly states that they sought a "nice looking, friendly, not too dark" African-American to play a car dealer alongside comedian Jerry Seinfeld in the their Super Bowl commercial, which aired earlier this year.

According to TMZ, they attained a copy of the document from a "pissed" black actor who didn't fit the profile.

Someone associated with casting the popular commercial told TMZ that one of the reasons they requested a "not too dark" African-American was because lighting and special effects would get tricky otherwise.

TMZ claims Acura failed to return their calls for comment.

--courtesy , the grio.com

This is not new.


 "I don't mind people speaking in tongues, as long as they quit Lying in English!" 
    --Charles R. Gibson

16 April 2012

an Elliott Moment

And I will show you something different from either your shadow at morning striding behind you or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

--T S Elliot

Quote of the week

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.
Romans 1:18


· If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

· If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

· If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

· If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

· If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective

· If you plant hard work, you will reap success

· If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

12 April 2012

Happy Birthday Herbie

Herbie was born in 1940 and by the age of eleven was performing Mozart's Concerto in D Major in a children's concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. When he was 20 Art Blakey picked him to join his Jazz Messengers. While with Blakey, Hancock learned how to play a mixture of RnB and jazz known as hard bop, a style that would later become the foundation for jazz fusion. Three years later Herbie was asked to join Miles' new quintet. During this time with Miles, Herbie, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams developed a totally new and unique way to play behind soloists. Disregarding the more conservative approach of their predecessors, these three didn't just keep time, instead they played with the rhythm and harmony in restless and constantly inventive ways. It was during this time that Herbie developed his unique comping style that combines French neo-classical harmonies with syncopated rhythms and African derived single note lines played in octaves. While with Miles, Herbie also put out several solo albums including some, such as 'Speak Like a Child', that include Herbie's arrangements for small jazz orchestras. His unique scoring for instrumental ensembles reveal the expected French influences, as well as an influence from Gil Evans' orchestrations for Miles Davis. These laid-back and impressionistic albums sound like cool future lounge music for the ultra hipster of tomorrow

Happy Birthday

Thursday Flashback-

11 April 2012


If you’ve never watched the show, it chronicles a single man’s pursuit of love as he dates several women who are competing for his love and undying affection … for life. It gets a little awkward in the house with nothing but women going after the same man.

Since the beginning, the bachelor character has ALWAYS been played by a white guy. The pool of women is diverse. But just like the movies, the black women are usually eliminated early on. SMDH!

"Bachelor” creator, Mike Fleiss, recently revealed, however, that it was never his intention for the show to be so white.
“It’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would.”
 While it’s hopeful that the show will FINALLY pull this off, right now it’s really an idea since his “wish bachelor” has to audition for the show. Lamar met with ABC executives on Monday.
If things work out Lamar Hurd, a Portland, Oregon sports broadcaster, would be the first black bachelor on the show. Learn all about Lamar’s quest in the video below.

BOTTOMSCOOP: Is America ready for the first black Bachelor? I think we can all agree that most fans of the show have been ready for years, and would welcome a change from the franchise’s tired azzz give the Runner-Up Guy the Job formula. And after last season’s subpar ratings, what better way to re-energize the show than by doing something bold that will get people talking? Yep just ask BRAVO & VH1…they’ll tell you that black folks can bring in ratings BUT I should hedge that to say with “HEAVY RATCHEDNESS!!!” LOL! You know it’s true. LOL!

What do you think, would you watch the show?

--courtesy blackmediascoop
Since I have a Nielsen rating monitor on the television sets in my home, I'll watch it. I love seeing black people on tv. I just hope he'll have a selection of black women to chose from, and not 1 out of 25 women, all the rest of whom would be white. With one Latina thrown in for good measure.They should be predominantly black.

Great Comeback!

Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin case

The office of a Florida special prosecutor who is investigating the Trayvon Martin shooting plans to announce new information in the case at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Earlier, a senior law enforcement source familiar with the Martin death investigation told CNN said that George Zimmerman would be charged.
Police say Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, on February 26 in Sanford, Florida, after Martin began walking home from a convenience store. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and was a neighborhood watch volunteer, had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood. He was released without charges after claiming self-defense, but the case was referred to a special prosecutor as thousands converged on Sanford to join in protests calling for Zimmerman's arrest.
The following are running updates on the story:

[Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET] Florida Gov. Rick Scott has released a statement ahead of the special prosecutor's news conference:
"We are fortunate in our state that most Floridians and local civic leaders are law-abiding, responsible citizens who all want justice to prevail. No matter what State Attorney (Angela) Corey determines following her investigation of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, I trust in the goodness of all Florida citizens to allow our justice system to reach an appropriate conclusion in this case."
[Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET] The parents of Trayvon Martin plan to hold a news conference after the special prosecutor makes her announcement.
Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, will be accompanied by their attorneys and the Rev. Al Sharpton in Washington, D.C., where the parents have been visiting a conference held by Sharpton's National Action Network.
[Updated at 3:07 p.m. ET] Many people in Sanford, Florida and around the world have been captivated by the Trayvon Martin case and have lent their support to Martin's family.
Upon hearing the news that special prosecutor Angela Corey was holding a press conference today to update the media, Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton tweeted that the case was in God's hands now.

--courtesy cnn.com

I pray that what's in the dark will come to light, and that truth and justice prevails. I pray that this case sets a precedent, that those guilty of killing black boys because they looked suspicious are punished as severely as the law allows, and that there will never be another Trayvon Martin situation.
There have been many Trayvon Martin situations in the past, some present, and I know there will be others.

I pray for my nephew who now feels there's a target on his forehead,  his heart, and his back every time he leaves his home, and I can't think of a single thing to say to convince him otherwise when I feel the same way myself.  
I refuse to post a pic of zimmerman on my blog. As a father/uncle/Godfather, I would want the world to remember my child.

A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.  ~Lee Segall

10 April 2012

Police arrest a man during the Watts Riots, August 1965

We are not makers of history. We are made by history.

--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Birthday Jonathan Davis

 aka Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, aka Q Tip, one of the best rappers/producers in hip-hop history

u do it for me

I can't wait

The Civil Rights Act of 1968

In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson failed to persuade Congress to pass a civil rights bill with a fair housing provision. The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., generated the support needed to pass the bill two years later, on April 10, 1968. The 1968 Fair Housing Act banned discrimination in the sale and rental of 80 percent of housing. It also contained anti-riot provisions and protected persons exercising specific rights--such as attending school or serving on a jury—as well as civil rights workers urging others to exercise these rights. It included the Indian Bill of Rights to extend constitutional protections to Native Americans not covered by the Bill of Rights. For his pivotal role in the bill’s passage, Clarence Mitchell received the Spingarn Medal.

Patience is a virtue

We waste a lot of time running after people we could have caught by just standing still.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

they smile in your face, all the time they wanna take your place-

Dear God,

I know it's okay to be disappointed when people prove to be evil conniving unreliable backstabbers who don't know that I'm aware of their behavior, but I'm asking you to please help me to get over it, and to remember that You are on the throne 24/7, 365; that you know the content of my character  and you know the content of their character and their intent.
Back in my 20s, I thrived on seeking revenge. I was good at it too.  I'm sure I closed the door to alot of blessings that were due me because of my need to get back at people that did me wrong, but with age comes wisdom. I've begged forgiveness and  I've learned to hand the evilness over to you to fix, to straighten out.
  Dear God, please help me to always remember that You  are aware of their intent and that you will respond accordingly. Please bless me to remember this, as someone I know personally is shaking my hand with one hand while stabbing me in the back with the other. And he doesn't know that I'm aware of his behavior.


08 April 2012

The Republican Menu

will you be ordering anything?

a picture says a thousand words

A new Commandment

A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

--John 13:34

05 April 2012

Thursday Flashback

i had to post this again

on today,

in 1976,

FBI documents, released in response to a freedom of information suit, revealed that the government mounted an intensive campaign against civil rights organizations in the sixties. In a letter dated August 25, 1967, the FBI said the government operation, called COINTELPRO, was designed "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize the activities of Black nationalists, hate-type groups, their leadership, spokesmen, membership and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorders." A later telegram specifically named the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as organizations having "radical and violence prone leaders, members and followers."

COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveiling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.

COINTELPRO tactics included discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination Covert operations under COINTELPRO took place between 1956 and 1971; however, the FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception. The FBI's stated motivation at the time was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order."
FBI records show that 85% of COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed "subversive," including communist and socialist organizations; organizations and individuals associated with the civil rights movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Congress of Racial Equality and other civil rights organizations; black nationalist groups; the American Indian Movement; a broad range of organizations labeled "New Left", including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen; almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; the National Lawyers Guild; organizations and individuals associated with the women's rights movement; nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch's Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement; and additional notable Americans, such as Albert Einstein (who was a member of several civil rights groups). The remaining 15% of COINTELPRO resources were expended to marginalize and subvert "white hate groups," including the Ku Klux Klan and the National States' Rights Party.FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of these movements and their leaders.

--courtesy, blackfacts.com

04 April 2012

Happy Birthday Maya Angelou, a Phenomenal Woman!

and my favorite quote of hers;

when someone shows you who they really are, BELIEVE THEM.

While waiting for the answer

Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer sex raises some pretty good questions.

-Woody Allen

( I hate Woody Allen, but I love the quote)

44 years ago today in Memphis

On April 4, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot to death in Memphis by an escaped convict, James Earl Ray.

Dr. King, the acclaimed civil rights leader, arrived in Memphis on April 3 and delivered what would be the final speech of his life, now known as the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address, in which he spoke of his own mortality. “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”
The next day, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel reportedly speaking with the civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who stood below in the parking lot, Dr. King was shot. As The New York Times described the scene, “The Rev. Ralph W. Abernathy, perhaps Dr. King’s closest friend, was just about to come out of the motel room when the sudden loud noise burst out. Dr. King toppled to the concrete second-floor walkway. Blood gushed from the right jaw and neck area. His necktie had been ripped off by the blast.”

An emergency surgery failed to save Dr. King’s life. He was declared dead about an hour after being shot.

News of Dr. King’s death soon spread throughout the nation. At a campaign rally, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a strong supporter of civil rights and a Democrat running for president, commemorated Dr. King in an address. “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black,” he said. (Just more than two months later, Mr. Kennedy would also be killed by an assassin’s bullet after a campaign appearance in California.)
Riots broke out in many cities after the fatal shooting of Dr. King. The Times said that in Memphis, the “tragedy had been followed by incidents that included sporadic shooting, fires, bricks and bottles thrown at policemen, and looting that started in Negro districts and then spread over the city.”
In the Times obituary published on April 5, 1968, Murray Schumach wrote: “To many million of American Negroes, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the prophet of their crusade for racial equality. He was their voice of anguish, their eloquence in humiliation, their battle cry for human dignity. He forged for them the weapons of nonviolence that withstood and blunted the ferocity of segregation. And to many millions of American whites, he was one of a group of Negroes who preserved the bridge of communication between races.”
The eventual convicted assassin, Mr. Ray, was arrested two months later in London’s Heathrow Airport. He admitted to killing Dr. King and was given a life sentence. He later recanted and said that he had been set up. Mr. Ray died in prison in 1998.
The King family supported Mr. Ray’s claims, believing that Dr. King may have been killed in a conspiracy because of his antipoverty and antiwar campaigns. By 1967, Dr. King had become the country’s most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall United States foreign policy. In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 — one year to the day before he was killed — Dr. King had called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” In its editorial on the speech, “Dr. King’s Error,” The Times criticized Dr. King for “link[ing] his personal opposition to the war in Vietnam with the cause of Negro equality in the United States.”

In 1999, the King family won a civil suit against a Memphis restaurateur who was said to have hired a police officer to kill Dr. King. “The jury’s decision,” explained The Times, “means it did not believe that James Earl Ray … fired the shot that killed Dr. King.”


Connect to Today:

Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence and commitment to economic and social justice remain influential 44 years after his death. In an August 2011 Op-Ed article, Prof. Cornel West reflected on Dr. King’s legacy. He argued that Dr. King’s concern for America’s “four catastrophes” “racism, poverty, militarism and materialism,” is as valid today as it was in the late 1960s and that the “age of Obama has fallen tragically short of fulfilling King’s prophetic legacy.”

What are your thoughts on Dr. King’s legacy as it applies to the “four catastrophes”? Do you think he would “weep from his grave” as the headline of Dr. West’s Op-Ed suggests, or would he have a more optimistic view of the United States in 2012? Why?

My answer is that he would be very unhappy with the state the country. My guess is that he would say that while  the United States has made great strides, we've also taken 10 steps forward and about 5 steps back.

But thats's my opinion. What's yours?

Oliver's House