Obama, Historians Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.



Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – Beyond Vietnam – A Time To Break The Silence: Starting in 1965, King began to express doubts about the United States’ role in the Vietnam War. In an April 4, 1967 appearance at the New York City Riverside Church—exactly one year before his death—King delivered a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”.[80] In the speech, he spoke strongly against the U.S.’s role in the war, insisting that the U.S. was in Vietnam “to occupy it as an American colony”[81] and calling the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”.[82] He also argued that the country needed larger and broader moral changes… – Salem News, 1-18-10
  • King papers have reach beyond library walls: In the years since the city of Atlanta acquired more than 10,000 of Dr. Martin Luther King’s personal papers, the collection has been pored over by researchers and used in groundbreaking history courses at Morehouse College. Come February, the writings of Dr. King will be fully available to the public at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center. – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1-15-10
  • Rallies, parades honor King’s legacy: “I don’t want to sanitize Martin Luther King Jr.,” Cornel West said. “Even with your foot on the brake, there are too many precious brothers and sisters under the bus,” West said of Obama. “Where is the talk about poverty? We’ve got to protect him and respect him, but we’ve also got to correct him if the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is going to stay alive.” – San Francisco Chronicle, 1-18-10


The President at So Others Might Eat on Martin Luther King Day

  • Obama to America’s youth: Civil rights struggle isn’t old news: The president hosts a group of African American ‘elders’ at the White House, hoping to remind young people that the battles Martin Luther King Jr. fought weren’t that long ago…. – LAT, 1-18-10
  • Service and Dr. King: In honor of Martin Luther King Day, President Barack Obama serves lunch in the dining room at So Others Might Eat, a soup kitchen in Washington January 18, 2010… – WH, 1-18-10
  • Emancipation Proclam. on display at WH: During an event to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, President Obama said the Emancipation Proclamation — the 1863 document that marked the beginning of the process to free the slaves — would be on loan to the White House. It is being displayed in the Oval Office.
    This copy of the document is one of the authorized copies that was made in 1864, according to the White House press office. The original — signed Jan. 1, 1863 — is in the National Archives. This one may hang in the Oval for six months after which it will be placed in the Lincoln Bedroom where the original was signed…. – MSNBC, 1-18-10
  • Obama Takes to the Pulpit: President Obama told a black church in the nation’s capital today that the promise inherent in his election as the nation’s first African-American president has yet to be fully realized, acknowledging that partisan Washington politics continued to play a big role in governance.
    But Mr. Obama promised that his health reform package — now hanging in the balance because of the Massachusetts Senate race — will soon become law. “Under the legislation I plan to sign into law, insurance companies won’t be able to drop you,” he said, to murmurs from the congregation at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, which was founded by freed slaves. – NYT, 1-17-10


P011810PS-0610 by The White House.

President Barack Obama views the Emancipation Proclamation with a small group of African American seniors, their grandchildren and some children from the Washington, D.C. area, in the Oval Office, Jan. 18, 2010. This copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, which is on loan from the Smithsonian Museum of American History, was hung on the wall of the Oval Office today and will be exhibited for six months, before being moved to the Lincoln Bedroom where the original Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

  • Freedom singer delivers civil-rights lessons in Seattle: Freedom singer Bernice Johnson Reagon was the featured speaker at a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle. In a speech at Mount Zion that was part history lesson, part performance and part message about nonviolence, Reagon, a cultural historian and civil-rights activist, spoke about the era when she established herself as a freedom singer…. – Seatle Times, 1-15-10
  • Peniel E. Joseph “Many say U.S. race relations have improved under Obama, but divides remain”: “Light-skinned is equated with good, an ability to pass, to fit in the mainstream,” said Peniel E. Joseph, a Tufts University historian and author of a new book about the shifting racial attitudes that allowed for Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president. “He’s light enough and mainstream enough to appeal to a broad audience. Those who are not really stand out in a conspicuous way as ‘the other.'”… – WaPo, 1-12-10
  • Peniel E. Joseph, From ‘Dark Days’ to ‘Bright Nights,’ Reexamining the Civil Rights Era: Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama – Well, it’s a phrase coming out of the 1960s and really coming out of the civil rights era. Stokely Carmichael was a civil rights activist who first used the term in Greenwood, Mississippi, on June 16, 1966. And for Carmichael, he really was referring to political self-determination. He felt that black people needed political, social, economic self-determination if they were going to really exercise their democratic rights in the country.
    As soon as Carmichael says it, it becomes a racial controversy. It becomes a national controversy. It’s going to be perceived as fomenting violence, as anti-white, as really the opposite of civil rights and Dr. King’s dream of a beloved community.
    Well, Carmichael was really one of the few civil rights activists who becomes a black power militant. So, Carmichael had been a grassroots organizer in Mississippi and Alabama. And for him, black power meant actually exercising the voting rights and exercising the citizenship rights that he had struggled to organize, along with many other civil rights activists, during the first half of the 1960s. So, it meant black elected officials. It meant black political leaders, but it also meant community control of schools. It meant a different definition of black identity. Before this period, African- Americans were really called Negroes or referred to as people of color. It’s after the black power period that they’re referred to as black or Afro-American, and, by the 1980s, African-American.
    When we think about our civil rights history and the history of the 1960s and ’70s, in a way, we flatten that story to a story about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, the Voting Rights Act, and the “I Have a Dream” speech.
    People like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael added their voices to that period of time. And they were really voices of trying to transform American democracy, but in militant and, at times, combative ways…. – PBS Newhour, 1-18-10

The First Lady at So Others Might Eat on Martin Luther King Day

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