Showing posts with label Martin Luther King Jr. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Martin Luther King Jr. Show all posts

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Martin Luther King Jr still relevant quote on voting rights and the filibuster

59 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. made a statement about the minority of senators blocking voting rights and the filibuster that is still true today.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Original MLK Speech from 1963 March on Washington Returning to African American Museum

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday by displaying the slain civil rights leader’s original speech from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The speech will be on display in the “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom” gallery from Thursday to Feb. 27.

The case with the speech inside, initially on display at the museum in fall 2021, will be reinstalled in time for visitors to see the document before the holiday.

In addition, the museum will be open to the public for normal operating hours (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.), with advanced and same-day free timed entry passes available online. No walk-ups will be allowed.

The speech was originally possessed by basketball coach George Raveling, who got it while volunteering at the 1963 march. Recently, Villanova University gained stewardship and has entered into a long-term loan agreement with the museum to display it.

Fundraiser launched to help Black students finish college on MLK Weekend

Please donate to the Close the Gap Fund here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/488350812907518/

Five years ago former Hillside NJ councilman and African American Reports owner, George L. Cook III was invited to a fundraiser given by the Union County College Foundation to support something called "Close the Gap”.

The Close the Gap campaign was intended to accelerate the pace of African American student success at Union County College by providing financial assistance to students approaching graduation as well as resources for other academic needs.

Cook was so impressed by the initiative and the passion of those who started it that he asked to join the Union County College Foundation to help out in any way that he could. After becoming a foundation trustee Cook struggled in that first year to see where he could fit in with the mission of both Close the Gap and the Union County Foundation.

At that time Facebook started allowing users to run fundraisers. Cook had over 5,000 friends so he started a fundraiser for the foundation. That initial fundraiser took in $920 and in the three years since over $6,000 more has been raised in an annual fundraiser Cook starts on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.

This year the councilman launched his fundraiser on January 15, 2021, the actual birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

Cook says that he chose that date to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and that King understood the importance of education. He then quoted King.

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education."

Mr. Cook also stated that giving to help these Black students finish school is also a way to help fulfill King's dream.

"Many of these students just need money for transportation, books, to eat while at school, or just to pay for that last class they need to graduate." said Cook.

In these times of Covid-19 that has become all that much more difficult as students must now struggle with other issues like helping their families pay rents or pay the bills. These students need our help now more than ever. As we all know that when a student drops out there is a good chance that they will not come back. Let us not let that happen."

"Thanks to the Close the Gap initiative, the graduation rate for male African-American students has more than quadrupled at Union County College in the five years since its launch. Let us keep that progress going. Please donate today through Facebook by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/488350812907518/

Please donate to the Close the Gap Fund here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/488350812907518/

Facebook pays all the processing fees for you, so 100% of your donation goes directly to the nonprofit. The UCCF will receive donations from Network for Good within 45-75 days after a donation.

Friday, June 18, 2021

New $77M court building in Newark named after Martin Luther King, Jr.

A new $77 million building along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Newark that houses 11 new courtrooms and offices for elections officials opened on Thursday.

The facility is called the Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Building and a 22-foot statue of the late civil rights activist stands outside the structure. Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. said naming the structure after King was a natural fit since it’s located next to a plaza and a smaller statue that was dedicated to him in 2015.

The third and fourth floors of the building will house courtrooms for tax and general equity courts, which were formerly located in the Wilentz Justice Complex on Washington Street. The first and second floors will have offices for the Essex County clerk, superintendent of elections, board of elections, surrogate and the board of taxation.

Gov. Phil Murphy said naming the building after King was a step in the direction of gaining equality. Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver also said King “would be proud” of the project.

“Just over a year since the murder of George Floyd, we are on that long road to pursue equality and justice,” said Murphy. “And this building - in the name of an American hero unlike any other - is a huge step forward in that direction.”

The King statue that sits outside of the new building is made out of bronze and sits on an 8-foot-tall granite pedestal. It was created by Jay Warren, from Oregon, who also sculpted the smaller King statue that sat outside the neighboring county Hall of Records. The smaller statue was moved to the back of the new building.

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” the engraving on the pedestal reads, quoting King. “But I know somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars. I have decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

The project was funded through Essex County’s capital budget. Construction started in May 2020 and was completed in 13 months.

[SOURCE: NJ.COM]

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Rep. Bobby Rush Introduces Legislation To Require Full, Public Release of COINTELPRO Files

Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) introduced legislation that would compel government agencies to release, and require public disclosure, of all records related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s nefarious COINTELPRO operation, a series of covert and illegal projects aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations including the Black Panther Party, and individuals including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Rush co-founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party and was a close friend to Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton, who was assassinated in his sleep in 1969 in a raid carried out as part of COINTELPRO operation.  In addition to requiring the public release of COINTELPRO records within six months, Rush’s bill would also remove J. Edgar Hoover’s name from the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Hoover, who led the FBI from 1924-1972, was the lead public official who devised and carried out the COINTELPRO operation.

“It is high time that the American people know about the odious and inhumane legacy of J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO operation and its assault on our nation’s civil liberties.  This exceptionally important legislation goes to the crux of power, law, and the pervasive counterintelligence program conducted against American citizens.

“COINTELPRO was spying on American citizens.  Anyone who took a political position against the status quo, anyone who wanted to make America better was subject to being penalized, investigated — and in the case of my friend Fred Hampton, assassinated — by the official legal arm of the federal government.

“As a victim of COINTELPRO, I want to know, with honesty, with clarity, and with no redactions, the full extent of the FBI’s nefarious operations.  I want to know the breadth and depth of the conspiracy to assassinate Fred Hampton and how taxpayer dollars were spent on his assassination.  I want to know why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a focus of the FBI, why Billie Holiday was a focus of the FBI — I want to know why so many young activists were harassed by the FBI.  What was the justification for the impact that it had on their lives? 

“Finally, it is beyond time for J. Edgar Hoover, who has a clear legacy as the number one assailant on America’s constitutional guarantees for its citizens, to have his name is removed from the FBI headquarters.

“I want to shine a bright light on this dark chapter of our nation’s history.  And I think it is very timely and very important that we do it at this moment,” said Rush.

The extensive spying and chicanery of the COINTELPRO operation only came to light — to the limited extent that we understand its operations today — because of a 1971 burglary of an FBI field office and a more recent wrongful death civil suit.  However, much about COINTELPRO remains unknown due to the public’s inability to view files related to the operation, which are currently in the possession of government agencies including the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI. 

Rush’s bill would require government agencies including the FBI and the DOJ to release records related to COINTELPRO so that the public can determine and understand the full extent of the FBI’s monitoring of American citizens and its assault on Americans’ legal and constitutional protections. 

The bill specifies that six months after enactment of the law, any file related to COINTELPRO operation must be released and made fully public.  If an agency or branch believes that the release of a particular file is clearly and demonstrably expected to cause harm, that agency or branch must release portions of the file, a substitute of the file that conveys the necessary information, or a summary of the file.  This bill would also establish the COINTELPRO Records Review Board, which would be empowered to review determinations by government offices that do not fully disclose their records after six months, as required by the bill.  The Review Board would be comprised of outside experts in history and legal issues who would make a recommendation to the President regarding whether files that have been only partially disclosed should be fully released. 

Twenty-five years after the enactment of the bill into law, if an agency or branch still wishes to block the full release of a file, they must provide written justification explaining why the file falls within a very limited set of exemptions specified in Congressman Rush’s legislation, for example, that it would cause identifiable damage to America’s national security or intelligence operations.  This explanation would go to the Archivist of the United States as well as a senior official in the relevant branch or chamber, who could then decide to overrule the agency’s decision and release the full file. 

The text of Rush’s legislation is available HERE.

In March, Rush led his colleagues in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting the release of unclassified and unredacted versions of DOJ and FBI files related to the assassination of Fred Hampton.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Councilman launches fundraiser to help Black students finish college on MLK Weekend

UPDATE FEBUARY 2021: The Facebook fundraiser has ended and raised over $2,100, but anyone still wishing to donate can do via Cash App. Donations can be sent to $gcuse.

Five years ago Hillside NJ councilman, George L. Cook III was invited to a fundraiser given by the Union County College Foundation to support something called "Close the Gap”.

The Close the Gap campaign was intended to accelerate the pace of African American student success at Union County College by providing financial assistance to students approaching graduation as well as resources for other academic needs.

Cook was so impressed by the initiative and the passion of those who started it that he asked to join the Union County College Foundation to help out in any way that he could. After being accepted into the foundation Cook struggled in that first year to see where he could fit in with the mission of both Close the Gap and the Union County Foundation.

At that time Facebook started allowing users to run fundraisers. Cook had over 5,000 friends so he started a fundraiser for the foundation. That initial fundraiser took in $920 and in the three years since over $4,000 more has been raised in an annual fundraiser Cook starts on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.

This year the councilman launched his fundraiser on January 16, 2021, the actual birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

Cook says that he chose that date to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and that King understood the importance of education. He then quoted King.

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education."

The councilman also stated that giving to help these Black students finish school is also a way to help fulfill King's dream.

"Many of these students just need money for transportation, books, to eat while at school, or just to pay for that last class they need to graduate." said Cook.

In these times of Covid-19 that has become all that much more difficult as students must now struggle with other issues like helping their families pay rents or pay the bills. These students need our help now more than ever. As we all know that when a student drops out there is a good chance that they will not come back. Let us not let that happen."

"Thanks to the Close the Gap initiative, the graduation rate for male African-American students has more than quadrupled at Union County College in the five years since its launch. Let us keep that progress going. Please donate today.

Donations can be made via Cash App here $gcuse

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.

[SOURCE: CNN]

Friday, April 06, 2018

Watch Barack Obama and John Lewis discuss Martin Luther King's legacy

To honor the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s death, President Obama and Congressman John Lewis participated in a My Brother’s Keeper Alliance roundtable with students from Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Washington, D.C. President Obama, Congressman Lewis, and the students discussed Dr. King’s legacy and how his mission remains relevant in today’s world.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Bible belongs to estate, judge says

The Bible that Martin Luther King Jr. carried during the civil rights movement in the 1960s belongs to his estate which voted in 2014 to sell the heirloom against the wishes of his daughter, said a court ruling that could now lead to its sale.

A trial was still scheduled to begin on August 15 to settle the question of who owns the slain civil rights leader's 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal, which the estate also voted to sell, according to court records.

The estate is controlled by King's three surviving children, Bernice and her two brothers, Dexter and Martin Luther King III.

Read more: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Bible belongs to estate, judge says

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

John Lewis Says ‘Selma’ Is ‘Long Overdue’

During an interview with Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who helped lead the 1965 voting rights march in Selma, Ala., that became known as “Bloody Sunday,” said Ava DuVernay’s new movie “Selma” is “long overdue.” He als talks abut other aspects of the movie as well as watching himself being portrayed on film. Listen to the full interview below:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Legal restrictions prevent the film Selma from using MLK's speeches???

Believe it or not the just released film Selma is the first feature film about the American icon. Also even more unbelievable is that the movie can not use the great speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. You read right, due to legal restrictions prevented “Selma,” the first feature film to be made about Martin Luther King Jr., from using his magnificent speeches.

The speeches delivered by Dr. King are property of his family’s estate, which licensed them in 2009 to DreamWorks and Warner Bros. for a biopic that Steven Spielberg hopes to eventually produce.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tavis Smiley's new book about MLK, "Death of a King"

A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.

Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations -- denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few -- all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.

Smiley's DEATH OF A KING paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life -- one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.

BUY THE BOOK