Martin Luther King

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Don’t let the radicals say anything

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is a theme to the 50th year commemorative marches held in Washington DC and in cities all over the country last weekend, it had to be “don’t let the ‘real’” activists speak. I think the decision not to include people who shared Martin Luther King’s vision that this system that features the triplets of racism, materialism and militarism has to be changed, is indicative of just how far we have not come in 50 years. Of course the radicals ironically were not allowed to speak at the original march either. In fact, the entire thing was orchestrated from beginning to end. Malcolm X called them out at the time. Continue Reading →

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Why government spying? Because you are the enemy!

The recent revelations that the government is storing all — that’s right, all — of our phone calls and emails and general communication ought to give us all cause to pause. Why would our government want to spy on everyone? Surely it is our friend! And why the indifference about it in the Black community? In fact, why are our so-called leaders silent? Continue Reading →

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Three jazz artists producing quality material

 

 

 

What does it mean to work with a high level of musicality? Three cutting-edge musicians with new albums out — veteran artists Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, and rising star Gerald Clayton —certainly know the answer to that question. And for their enduring creative efforts, their passionate music is wooing the world. Trumpeter Payton, bassist McBride, and pianist Clayton, all composers and bandleaders in their own rights, as well as Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated artists, also continue to capture the attention of critics the world over with some of the most accessible new music that I’ve heard this year, so far. They may not be appearing on bandstands with their own bands at our local jazz clubs in support of their albums anytime soon, but at least two of them are no strangers to the Jazz Showcase bandstand in Chicago. Continue Reading →

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Honoring Emil Kapaun should reflect his commitment to nonviolent

 

 

Obama presented the nephew of the Rev. Emil Kapaun with the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery. Rev. Kapaun died at the age of 35 in 1951, after spending six months in captivity during the Korean War. President Obama said, “This is the valor we honor today — an American soldier who didn’t fire a gun, but who wielded the mightiest weapon of all, a love for his brothers so pure that he was willing to die so that they might live.”

Is Obama talking about Kapaun’s love for his brothers on the North Korean team that was shooting at U.S. soldiers? Because that is what Kapaun was about; he loved and saw all men as his brothers, and that is why he would not pick up a gun. What Kapaun did is up there with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Henry David Thoreau, the great writer who refused to pay his taxes because of U.S. military violence and went to jail for it. Continue Reading →

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Critics of Rosenbloom column skirt around statements by Sanger

 

 

Columnist Lucky Rosenbloom’s commentary [column of April 11] on abortion and its devastating effects on Black America is the dirty little secret Black activists, most Black clergy, Black scholars and, of course, the liberal White left are silent about. There’s no virtue in supporting abortions, just what is vile to the human race, regardless of its legal status in America and numerous other progressive nations. Furthermore, the vast majority of abortions in the U.S. are for “convenience” or a way of contraception. Abortions on Black women per year (about 40 percent of the total abortions) exceed all other Black deaths (murders, AIDS, heart attacks, cancers, strokes and accidents) combined. I’m amused, if not unimpressed, at Susan A. Cohen’s and Oliver Steinberg’s statements [letters to the editor, MSR, April 25] defending Planned Parenthood and the anti-Black Margaret Sanger of yesteryear. Continue Reading →

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Terror in Boston? Terror in America!

How fragile is our precarious democracy in the face of senseless violence? Two explosions exposed the fragile state of our precarious social contract at the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013, as three were killed and 175 or so injured, some badly, some losing arms and legs. As this column was written nine hours after the carnage (and published 8 days later), we don’t know yet if this was by domestic or foreign terrorists. Doesn’t matter. It was mean-spirited premeditation with malice aforethought, killing innocents to get attention and send a message. Continue Reading →

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Where are our leaders? What are our core values?

 

 

By Marian Wright Edelman

Guest Commentator

 

It will not be sufficient for Morehouse College — for any college, for that matter — to produce clever graduates, men fluent in speech and able to argue their way through; but rather honest men, men who can be trusted in public and private, who are sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society and who are willing to accept responsibility for correcting the ills. — Benjamin E. Mays, President, Morehouse College

 

Benjamin E. Mays, Morehouse College’s president from 1940-1967, said this about the kind of men and leaders he expected Morehouse to produce. As a student at neighboring Spelman College, I heard and saw President Mays often and had the privilege of singing in Morehouse’s Sunday morning chapel choir and hearing this great man’s wisdom. Of the six college presidents in the Atlanta University academic complex, Mays was the one students looked up to most. He inspired and taught us by example and stood by us when we challenged Atlanta’s Jim Crow laws in the sit-in movement to open up public accommodations to all citizens. Continue Reading →

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The illusion of racial progress

By Dr. Luke Tripp

Guest Commentator

 

What appears to be racial progress in America is largely an illusion. Martin Luther King, Jr. is honored for his great contribution to the struggle for human rights and social justice in America. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 when he was organizing a national campaign to bring the issues of poverty to the attention of the political establishment of the United States. In his 1967 book Where Do We Go From Here?, he urged us to struggle against racism, capitalism, and militarism and to strive to create a beloved community based on moral values and human dignity. Let us consider the state of affairs in America in 1967 and compare them with the situation in America in 2013, over two decades later. Continue Reading →

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The struggle continues — Obama is not proof of a post-racial society

 

 

When one compares the 1968 Kerner Commission Report, which chronicled the problems that Black folks were experiencing in just about every walk of life at the time, and the misery index for Black folks today, one finds that the lot of Black folks haven’t changed that much. In a word, we are still an oppressed nationality living in the United States. So it would appear that the struggle for justice and equality continues. Well, at least common sense would dictate that the struggle continues. If Black folks are still experiencing job discrimination and police brutality and an unjust justice system as evidenced by the disparity in sentencing, particularly in drug cases, then the struggle clearly continues. Continue Reading →

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SFJAZZ’s new home, Bobby Z’s 2nd benefit, D’Angelo’s new music

 

Congrats to SFJAZZ. After presenting its first concerts in San Francisco 30 years ago, today the nonprofit organization SFJAZZ has built a home and performance venue of its own. Its grand opening occurred on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 21, 2013. According to a press release about the SFJAZZ opening, “The SFJAZZ Center can now efficiently integrate itself under one roof to present world-class artists in concert throughout the year, nurture young musicians’ development and promote music education.”

“After 30 years of presenting music in a variety of rented venues throughout the Bay, it is with great joy we announce our first season in our new home, the SFJAZZ Center,” said Randall Kline, the founder and executive artistic director of SFJAZZ. He also noted in the press release, “The center is the first free-standing building for jazz in the country — designed, from concept to concert hall, to create an enhanced setting for creating and experiencing what the esteemed jazz writer Whitney Balliett calls ‘the sound of surprise.’”

McCoy Tyner’s January 24 concert at SFJAZZ is already sold out. Continue Reading →

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