“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Activist Linda Sarsour on Dr. King: “Every year, I find it necessary to remind us of the true and authentic Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is not a historical figure left for you to mold in the way that suits your own personal views. He was a flawed leader who committed himself to uplifting Black People and alleviate suffering of the poor. He died with few friends. He was ostracized and marginalized when he decided to unequivocally stand up against the war in Vietnam, decry capitalism and militarism. He criticized white moderates and pointed out that they were often the obstacles to transformative change and progress because they were more committed to order than justice.
He was labeled an extremist, a communist, the organizations he organized with were blacklisted by the US Government. Then FBI Director J Edgar Hoover called him the “most dangerous Negro in America,” he wrote us a letter from the Birmingham Jail. White organizations and donors stripped him of funding when they didn’t approve of his message and evolution in understanding the roots of oppression. When he ventured out of the box they saw fit for him – they jumped ship leaving the civil rights movement to struggle – and STILL THEY SURVIVED.
Ahistorical posts about MLK serve to rewrite history in a way that hurts and decontextualizes the movements we are a part of today. It’s a new day but the same old cycle of whitewashing history.
I honor the imperfect, anti-war, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, Black Christian Baptist Minister, radical revolutionary Dr. King. The Dr. King that 66% of Americans at the time DID NOT agree with. I honor a man who was murdered at the hands of white supremacy that is flourishing today – 53 years after his assassination.
That’s my Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hope he’s yours.”
Let’s invite young children into conversations, celebrations and actions valuing Black lives, non-violence and justice. We recently got to celebrate the major victory of a mostly female, Black-led movement to overturn voter suppression in Georgia, and thereby elect the first Black senator and Jewish senator to Georgia! This week we celebrate another profound victory: the first woman, first Black and first South Asian will be sworn into office as the Vice President by Judge Sonia Sotomayer, the first Puerto Rican woman to serve as a judge in the U.S. federal court.
Here’s a glimpse into last year’s classroom activities related to Martin Luther King Jr. and Ruby Bridges: