On the national observance of Martin Luther King Junior's birthday, his eldest son called out the Senate for its failure so far to pass voting rights legislation.
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Monday, January 17, 2022
On MLK Holiday Martin Luther King III calls out U.S. Senate on failure to pass voting rights bills
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Dr. Bernice King delivers message about commerating the MLK Holiday and voting rights
Dr. Bernice King, the King Center CEO and daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., offered an explanation of the center's and her family's plans for the MLK Day holiday in 2022 after her brother, Martin Luther King III indicated this week they would not formally celebrate it unless voting rights bills pass in Congress.
In a video message posted to social media, Bernice King said she stands in solidarity with her brother, Martin Luther King III, in "calling our nation's attention to securing and protecting the most sacred right of our democracy, which is the right to vote."
Hello, family. Here is a message from me about commemorating #MLKDay, my mother's work to establish a holiday in honor of my father's life and legacy, and #MLKGlobal. Let's educate, advocate and activate. #MLK #CorettaScottKing #ShiftingPriorities pic.twitter.com/UtJNy14V7l— Be A King (@BerniceKing) December 17, 2021
Friday, January 18, 2019
MLK national park to reopen during government shutdown with help from Delta Air Lines
The National Park Service will use a grant from Delta Air Lines and fee revenues to reopen the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta despite the government shutdown.
Most sites of the park, including the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and King's birth home, have been closed since the partial government shutdown began on December 22. Travelers missed their chance to relive the civil rights leader's legacy and many others were worried they could not visit the sites during the upcoming federal holiday honoring King.
The historic park will open Saturday for 16 days to ensure people in Atlanta can celebrate King's legacy in advance of the holiday on Monday and travelers attending the Super Bowl game on February 3 have a chance to visit the sites, the park service said.
An $83,500 grant from the Delta Air Lines Foundation will cover the cleanup, administration, maintenance and operating costs of employees not covered under recreation fee funds.
In a statement, Delta CEO and trustee of the Delta Air Lines Foundation Ed Bastian said the group "felt it was important we do our part to ensure that the historical landmarks be accessible to the public."
The Atlanta site includes the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was co-pastor for years, a visitors' center and the home where King was born in 1929.
Monday, January 15, 2018
Barack Obama statement on this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
Former, and the last real President of the United States Barack Obama released the following statement via Twitter celebrating the Martin Luther King Holiday:
Dr. King was 26 when the Montgomery bus boycott began. He started small, rallying others who believed their efforts mattered, pressing on through challenges and doubts to change our world for the better. A permanent inspiration for the rest of us to keep pushing towards justice.
Congressional Black Caucus statement in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02), released the following statement in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“While it’s impossible to fill Dr. King’s shoes, the CBC continues to honor his legacy. The policies we promote and the tactics we use are proof. We legislate, debate and convene. We also boycott, sit-in and kneel. “The CBC is because Dr. King was – quite literally. If he hadn’t fought and won so many important battles during the civil rights movement, we wouldn’t be a historic 48 members strong today. “This is why the CBC fought to honor him with a federal holiday, and why we honor his legacy by fighting for equality, justice and the eradication of poverty.”
Transcript: Martin Luther King Jr. The Drum Major Instinct sermon
"And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto him saying, ‘Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.’ And he said unto them, ‘What would ye that I should do for you?’ And they said unto him, ‘Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.’ But Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye know not what ye ask: Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ And they said unto him, ‘We can.’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.’" And then Jesus goes on toward the end of that passage to say, "But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."
The setting is clear. James and John are making a specific request of the master. They had dreamed, as most of the Hebrews dreamed, of a coming king of Israel who would set Jerusalem free and establish his kingdom on Mount Zion, and in righteousness rule the world. And they thought of Jesus as this kind of king. And they were thinking of that day when Jesus would reign supreme as this new king of Israel. And they were saying, "Now when you establish your kingdom, let one of us sit on the right hand and the other on the left hand of your throne."
Now very quickly, we would automatically condemn James and John, and we would say they were selfish. Why would they make such a selfish request? But before we condemn them too quickly, let us look calmly and honestly at ourselves, and we will discover that we too have those same basic desires for recognition, for importance. That same desire for attention, that same desire to be first. Of course, the other disciples got mad with James and John, and you could understand why, but we must understand that we have some of the same James and John qualities. And there is deep down within all of us an instinct. It's a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life.
And so before we condemn them, let us see that we all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse. Sigmund Freud used to contend that sex was the dominant impulse, and Adler came with a new argument saying that this quest for recognition, this desire for attention, this desire for distinction is the basic impulse, the basic drive of human life, this drum major instinct.
And you know, we begin early to ask life to put us first. Our first cry as a baby was a bid for attention. And all through childhood the drum major impulse or instinct is a major obsession. Children ask life to grant them first place. They are a little bundle of ego. And they have innately the drum major instinct.
Now in adult life, we still have it, and we really never get by it. We like to do something good. And you know, we like to be praised for it. Now if you don't believe that, you just go on living life, and you will discover very soon that you like to be praised. Everybody likes it, as a matter of fact. And somehow this warm glow we feel when we are praised or when our name is in print is something of the vitamin A to our ego. Nobody is unhappy when they are praised, even if they know they don't deserve it and even if they don't believe it. The only unhappy people about praise is when that praise is going too much toward somebody else. But everybody likes to be praised because of this real drum major instinct.
...Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. A need that some people have to feel that they are first, and to feel that their white skin ordained them to be first. And they have said over and over again in ways that we see with our own eyes. In fact, not too long ago, a man down in Mississippi said that God was a charter member of the White Citizens Council. And so God being the charter member means that everybody who's in that has a kind of divinity, a kind of superiority. And think of what has happened in history as a result of this perverted use of the drum major instinct. It has led to the most tragic prejudice, the most tragic expressions of man's inhumanity to man.
....And not only does this thing go into the racial struggle, it goes into the struggle between nations. And I would submit to you this morning that what is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy. And if something doesn't happen to stop this trend, I'm sorely afraid that we won't be here to talk about Jesus Christ and about God and about brotherhood too many more years. If somebody doesn't bring an end to this suicidal thrust that we see in the world today, none of us are going to be around, because somebody's going to make the mistake through our senseless blunderings of dropping a nuclear bomb somewhere. And then another one is going to drop. And don't let anybody fool you, this can happen within a matter of seconds. They have twenty-megaton bombs in Russia right now that can destroy a city as big as New York in three seconds, with everybody wiped away, and every building. And we can do the same thing to Russia and China.
But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. "I must be first." "I must be supreme." "Our nation must rule the world." And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I'm going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.
God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.
But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. The God that I worship has a way of saying, "Don't play with me." He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, "Don’t play with me, Israel. Don't play with me, Babylon. Be still and know that I'm God. And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power." And that can happen to America. Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening. And we have perverted the drum major instinct.
But let me rush on to my conclusion, because I want you to see what Jesus was really saying. What was the answer that Jesus gave these men? It's very interesting. One would have thought that Jesus would have condemned them. One would have thought that Jesus would have said, "You are out of your place. You are selfish. Why would you raise such a question?"
But that isn't what Jesus did; he did something altogether different. He said in substance, "Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you're going to be my disciple, you must be." But he reordered priorities. And he said, "Yes, don't give up this instinct. It's a good instinct if you use it right. It's a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do."
And he transformed the situation by giving a new definition of greatness. And you know how he said it? He said, "Now brethren, I can't give you greatness. And really, I can't make you first." This is what Jesus said to James and John. "You must earn it. True greatness comes not by favoritism, but by fitness. And the right hand and the left are not mine to give, they belong to those who are prepared."
And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.
And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.
......Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life's final common denominator—that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don't think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, "What is it that I would want said?" And I leave the word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.
I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.
I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that's all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he's traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.
Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth......
[and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.]
Saturday, August 05, 2017
2018 NAACP Image Awards Set For MLK Jr. Day
The NAACP will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day next year by holding its 49th annual Image Awards on the holiday. The group said today that its trophy show will be held January 15, airing live on TV One.
It will mark the first time since 1994 that the Image Awards will be handed out in January, with the show being staged in during Black History Month in February eight of the past nine years. The two-hour special also will include a live pre-show from the red carpet.
“The NAACP is proud to air our 49th Image Awards live telecast on the nation’s most significant civil rights day of the year celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “In alignment with the National Martin Luther King Day of Service, we are encouraging our nominees, celebrity presenters and performers, network representatives, staff, directors, trustees, sponsors, and branches and units in all 50 states to join us in a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. As the nation commemorates the 50th anniversary of his assassination on April 4, 1968, we are reminded of the ageless principles of non-violence, truth and justice, humility, and service that he taught all Americans.”
The Image Awards celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Nominations will be announced during the week of November 13, when final voting will open.
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Arkansas lawmakers advance plan to seperate Robert E. Lee day from MLK day
A proposal to end Arkansas' dual holiday for Robert E. Lee and slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. easily won Senate approval Tuesday, but faces an uncertain prospect in the House where a competing plan would honor the Confederate general the same day as the nation's first president.
The Senate voted 24-0 in favor of the proposal to remove Lee from the state and federal holiday honoring King on the third Monday in January. Only two other states, Alabama and Mississippi, honor the men on the same day.
"It's a day spent in prayer. It's a day spent in remembrance. It's a day that needs to stand alone," Republican Sen. Dave Wallace told the Senate before the vote. "It's a day that needs to stand for Martin Luther King."
The proposal would designate the second Saturday in October as a state memorial day, not a holiday, to honor Lee. It also requires the state to expand what is taught in schools about civil rights and Civil War history.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has urged lawmakers to approve the change, which he says would help unify Arkansas and improve its image.
"While both men have left their mark on history, dually celebrating them, as we have done in Arkansas since 1985, is an obvious incongruence," Hutchinson said in a statement after the vote.
Read more: Arkansas lawmakers advance plan to strip Robert E. Lee from MLK day
Monday, January 20, 2014
President Obama & family volunteer on MLK Holiday
President Barack Obama honored Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of service Monday by helping a soup kitchen prepare its daily meals and a host of administration figures fanned out across the capital to appear at holiday events.President Obama took his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha to DC Central Kitchen, which is a few minutes away from the White House by presidential motorcade.