Born on this Day in 1929: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-9365086-2-402Although Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday will not be nationally observed until tomorrow, January 16, we want to honor King today as well, on his actual day of birth.

To learn more about this monumental agent of political and social change, go to biography.com, and to listen to a speech of his more relevant today than ever, check out this concluding segment from 1967’s “Where Do We Go From Here?” above.

Some stirring quotes from this speech of Dr. King’s include:

… I’m concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice; I’m concerned about brotherhood; I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.

And:

And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love; I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love.  If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love.

“Birth of a Movement”, PBS Documentary on William Monroe Trotter and his Protest of Original “The Birth of a Nation”, Premieres Feb. 6

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(Image via boston.eventful.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Birth of a Movement, a documentary about African-American newspaper editor William Monroe Trotter‘s 1915 battle against America’s first blockbuster movie – D.W. Griffith‘s infamous The Birth of a Nation – will have its broadcast premiere Feb 6, 2017 on Independent Lens/PBS.

The documentary film was produced and directed by Bestor Cram and Susan Gray at NLP in Boston, is executive produced by Sam Pollard and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (who is also interviewed in the film), is narrated by Danny Glover, and written by filmmaker Kwyn Bader and Edgar Award Winner and Pulitzer nominee Dick Lehr. Spike Lee and Reginald Hudlin appear in the film, as does Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, who provided the score. There are also premiere screenings – open to the public – in Boston and NYC on Jan 30 and 31st, respectively.

For Boston ticket info, click here: http://boston.eventful.com/events/birth-movement-boston-premeire-/E0-001-098857426-8

For New York City ticket info, click herehttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/films-at-the-schomburg-birth-of-a-movement-the-battle-against-americas-first-blockbuster-tickets-30972781423

NAACP Youth Division Hosting People’s Inauguration Rally at Howard University with Chance the Rapper Jan. 21

Chance The Rapper and NAACP Youth & College Division members (photo via NAACP / Twitter)

Chance The Rapper and NAACP Youth & College Division members (photo via NAACP / Twitter)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Youth & College division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is hosting a gathering of youth activists next month to organize and plan responses to new civil rights threats expected under the new administration and Congress in 2017.

Leaders of the youth wing of the NAACP, along with partners in Justice League New York and the Empowerment Movement will work together at the “People’s Inauguration” rally at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21 at 9 a.m. Grammy-nominated artist Chance the Rapper is scheduled to appear as a guest speaker.

The rally will re-unite allies and partners who helped register thousands of new and young voters during the 2016 election with the goal to launch a new era of activism and protest against potential threats from the presidency of Donald J. Trump. During the meeting, attendees will begin collaborating to unite together and stand for a progressive policy agenda in the coming months and years.

“We are faced with a moral and ethical crisis during this critical time in our nation’s history after the election of Donald J. Trump,’ said Stephen Green, director of the NAACP Youth & College Division. “This moment calls for young leaders to gather together and develop a strategy to protect the human and civil rights of all Americans through nonviolent resistance.”

#StayWokeAndFight is the name of the new initiative, and it is intended to provide direct actions, protests and other activism to oppose threats to civil rights, education investment, criminal justice reform and other areas of concern posed by the Trump administration that takes office on January 20.

Organizers also plan to host a “People’s Inaugural Ball” on Inauguration night. Registration is  open online for individuals and groups to join and attend at www.staywokeandfight.com.

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.

After Months of Non-Violent Protest from Standing Rock Sioux, Army Corps of Engineers Halts Dakota Access Pipeline Work

People celebrate around the sacred fire at the Oceti Sakowin Camp near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. On Sunday afternoon, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it was halting construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline and considering alternate routes, something protesters had sought for months. (Photo: Brian Powers, Des Moines Register)

article by Kevin Hardy, Des Moines Register via usatoday.com

The pipeline was set to cross the river a half-mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation border. Tribal members have for months protested the project, worried that a pipeline breach could threaten their drinking water supplies.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

The news spread quickly across the snow-covered protest camp in North Dakota, home to an expansive array of teepees, motorhomes and tents. Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II took the microphone at the camp’s central fire after speaking with Army officials.

“I’m telling you, this is true,” he said. “You know how rumors spread.”

Geraldine Agard, a 63-year-old member of the Standing Rock Sioux, gave credit to the prayers of those filling the camp for Sunday’s decision. Earlier in the day, campers joined arms in creating what they said was the world’s largest prayer circle.

“I’m so thrilled I’m here today,” she said. “I’m still in shock.”

To read full article, go to: Protesters celebrate as Army halts Dakota Access pipeline work

Civil Rights Pioneer Pauli Murray’s Home in NC Slated to Become National Historic Landmark

Civil Rights Pioneer Pauli Murray (Photo via thegrio.com)

Civil Rights Pioneer Pauli Murray (Photo via thegrio.com)

article via jbhe.com

The Pauli Murray Project at the Human Rights Center at Duke University has been working for many years to obtain landmark status for the civil rights activist’s home in Durham, NC. Those efforts have finally reached fruition.

Recently the Landmarks Committee of the National Park Service unanimously voted to recommend that the home at 906 Carroll Street become a National Historic Landmark. The final decision on the matter rests with the Secretary of the Interior and the decision can be made before the change in presidential administrations. The Pauli Murray Project has fully restored the home and it is expected that it will be made into a museum and social justice center.

A native of Baltimore, Pauli Murray was orphaned at age 13. She went to Durham, North Carolina to live with an aunt. After graduating from high school at the age of 16, she enrolled in Hunter College in New York City. She was forced to drop out of school at the onset of the Great Depression. In 1938, she mounted an unsuccessful legal effort to gain admission to the all-white University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1940, 15 years earlier than Rosa Parks, Murray was arrested for refusing to sit in the back of a bus in Virginia.

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Pauli Murray’s home before and after restoration

Murray enrolled at the Howard University in 1941 and earned her degree in 1944. She later graduated from the Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California at Berkeley. She became a leader of the civil rights movement and was critical of its leadership for not including more women in their ranks. In 1977, Murray, at the age of 66, was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church. She died in Pittsburgh in 1985 after suffering from cancer.

West Virginia Mayor Resigns After Co-Signing on Racist FB Post About Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama (photo via essence.com)

A petition calling for Mayor Beverly Whaling’s termination has garnered over 24,000 signatures.

article by Rachaell Davis via essence.com

UPDATE (11/15/16): West Virginia Mayor Beverly Whaling has resigned. WSAZ News reportedly received confirmation that Whaling has submitted an official resignation letter, following the fallout from her comments on a racially offensive Facebook post, in which Clay County Corporation Director Pamela Ramsey Taylor referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as “an ape in heels.”

Previous Report:

As racial tensions continue to rise across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, a disturbing incident out of West Virginia has thousands demanding action.

Clay County Development Corporation Executive Pamela Ramsey Taylor hurled words of blatant disrespect and disregard for First Lady Michelle Obama in a racist Facebook post, where she referred to FLOTUS as “an ape in heels.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling agreed with Taylor’s racially offensive statement, commenting on the original post, “Just made my day, Pam.”

To read full article, go to: West Virginia Mayor Criticized For Racist FB Post About Michelle Obama Essence.com

#IWalkWithNatasha: 300 Students Escort Young Woman  to Class After She Reports Racial Harassment on Baylor Univ. Campus 

(photo via twitter.com)

Natasha Nkhama, a Baylor University student, was attacked by a student and called the N-word while walking around campus earlier this week.

She described the incident in a video posted to Twitter by her friend, Jaileene Maite.

“On my way to class, this guy went out of his way to bump into me and … shove me off the sidewalk,” she said. “He said ‘no n*ggers allowed on the sidewalk’.”

“And I was just shocked,” she added. “Like, I had no words.”

Nkhama also said that when confronted by a nearby student, her attacker replied “Like what … I’m just trying to make America great again.”

“So if you voted for Donald Trump, I hope you realize what that means from someone else’s point of view,” Nkhama said.

As word of the incident spread throughout campus, students arranged a plan to escort Nkhama to her Friday morning class using the hashtag #IWalkWithNatasha.

Hundreds of people showed up — including some whose professors let them leave class early to help out.

To read more, go to: #IWalkWithNatasha: 300 Students Escort a Girl to Class After She Reports Racial Harassment on Campus [Video] – B. Scott | lovebscott.com