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Posts Tagged ‘martin luther king’

The A. Lincoln Motel and Route 66, south side of Springfield, IL, 1992

1.

I grew up in a very white rural area. I met a black person for the first time at school when I was sixteen. She and her mother were the only black people in our entire county. Although my family is not technically white, we pass easily enough, both culturally and with the appearance of (tanned) white skin. Racism was common, just the background of normal everyday existence. I grew up calling brazil nuts “nigger toes;” worried that as a child who liked to drink coffee, it would turn my skin black; and of course, knew the very scary boogeyman to be a big black man, just waiting to get me. Fear and ignorance, and lack of examples to counter stereotypes played a big part of my awareness of cultures and race in my formative years.

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In this essay, Christian anarchist and professor of Religious Studies, Tripp York, discusses the co-opting of King’s beliefs and message.

“A dangerous Negro, now a national hero. How shall we work with that?”
—Vincent Harding

In a brief essay entitled “Martin Luther King, Jr: Dangerous Prophet,” Vincent Harding (a colleague of King) reminds his readers that as easy as it is to forget that Jesus was an executed criminal who undermined the very politics that makes this fallen world turn, so too is it both easy and tempting to twist King into our own image, who is no longer a prophet, but an idol that serves rather than questions our interests.

In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. was called the most dangerous Negro in the United States because he posed a threat to the very precious ideals that, unfortunately, continue to underwrite our socio-economic and political culture. This same man is now revered as a national saint. The question that must be asked is: Did we undergo the changes that King demanded—an alternative economy, the practice of nonviolence, and the ceasing of imperialism? Or, has his message somehow changed since his death so that it can accommodate that for which he gave his life in protest?

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Some people asked for a little extra time. We can dig that. Have the weekend! We look forward to reading your pieces from now through Sunday evening. To review the original post with suggestions/guidelines click on this word: Skiddadlevitzenbergestein

The rest still applies:

  • Please send all articles for review to: newoldtraditions [at] gmail [dot] com
  • All articles should be typed and saved in a Word document. (Please do not send .docx files. We can’t open them). Length should be anywhere from 500-1500 words.
  • If we decide to run the piece, we will contact you and let you know when it has been uploaded to the site.

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NEW OLD SUBMISSION CALL!!!
Due: Friday January 15, 2010

On Monday January 18th the United States will honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. with a federal holiday. We Revelers at These New Old Traditions are looking for pieces that deal with the irony of a government-sanctioned holiday that honors a person who challenged government-sanctioned racist policies, and was then assassinated. Question: Is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s holiday a way for the US government to cover its racist past, or is MLK Day an act of atonement for acknowledged wrongs?

We’re also looking for pieces on (but in no way limited to):

  • Meaningful ways to celebrate/acknowledge Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s position on civil rights more complex than the “non-violence” label attributed to him?
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. as Patron Saint of…?
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. as The Great Orator
  • etc…

Please send all articles for review to: newoldtraditions [at] gmail [dot] com

All articles should be typed and saved in a Word document. (Please do not send .docx files. We can’t open them). Length should be anywhere from 500-1500 words.

If we decide to run the piece, we will contact you and let you know when it has been uploaded to the site.

Looking forward to hearing from you!!!

Lv,
We Revelers

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