Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr., SCLC Presidential Address, August 16 1967

"And one day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society"
Martin Luther King Jr.

Some may ask "Why are you quoting from a speech that was given 42 years ago?" When you read these quotes you will realize that we as a nation are still faced with the same problems and Dr. King's words are still relevant. Fortunately or Unfortunately? You make the call. For those of you who feel as though I may be taking some things out of context, I have provided a link to the entire speech for your convenience.

"Even semantics have conspired to make that which is black seem ugly and degrading. In Roget's Thesaurus there are 120 synonyms for blackness and at least sixty of them are offensive, as for example, blot, soot, grim, devil and foul. And there are some 134 synoyms for whiteness and all are favorable, expressed in such words as purity, cleanliness, chastity and innocence. A white lie is better than a black lie. The most degenerate member of a family is a "black sheep." Ossie Davis has suggested that maybe the English language should be reconstructed so that teachers will not be forced to teach the Negro child sixty ways to despise himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of inferiority, and the white child 134 ways to adore himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of superiority."

"As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery. No Lincolnian emancipation proclamation or Johnsonian civil rights bill can totally bring this kind of freedom. The negro will only be free when he reaches down to the inner depths of his own being and signs with the pen and ink of assertive manhood his own emancipation proclamation. And, with a spirit straining toward true self-esteem, the Negro must boldly throw off the manacles of self-abegnation and say to himself and to the world, "I am somebody. I am a person. I am a man with dignity and honor. I have a rich and noble history. How painful and exploited that history has been. "

"The plantation and ghetto were created by those who had power, both to confine those who had no power and to perpetuate their powerlessness. The problem of transforming the ghetto, therefore, is a problem of power—confrontation of the forces of power demanding change and the forces of power dedicated to the preserving of the status quo."

So, I conclude by saying again today that we have a task and let us go out with a "divine dissatisfaction." Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort and the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice. Let us be dissatisfied until those that live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family is living in adecent sanitary home. Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality,integrated education. Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity. Let us be dissatisfied until men and women, however black they may be, will be judged on the basis of the content of their character and not on the basis of the color of their skin. Let us be dissatisfied. Let us be dissatisfied until every state capitol houses a governor who will do justly, who will love mercy and who will walk humbly with his God. Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid. Let us be dissatisfied. And men will recognize that out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout "White Power!" -- when nobody will shout "Black Power!"—but everybody will talk about God's power and human power. "

Since I am in love with the number 4 I will stop here but the speech is heavy with truth. If you are interested you should check it out at the link provided above. I will be coming at you with more good stuff from men and women around the world so stay tuned.

Let's hope for a better tomorrow but be thankful for today!

"Let It Go" por Kirk Franklin

On a somewhat (not really) lighter note, you guys should check out this song. Kirk Franklin's testimony is powerful. For all those men and women out there who come from broken homes this one is for you and I do hope this song can speak a word of encouragement into your soul. I listened to it approximately 20 times today and I don't plan to slow down.

God is Good.

Education in Miss. America is still separate and unequal

Surprise, Surprise my friends. Education in America is still very far from being equal. My soul sister and I were on the phone talking today and she told me a tragic story that left me in tears, what a surprise right? She is volunteering at a school of mixed race in Washington D.C teaching curriculum to young students. When she first arrived to her classroom she was terrified. The students were unruly, disruptive, rude, and uninterested in anything she had to say. She considered not returning on several occasions. When she spoke with school officials about the classroom situations she encountered, she was informed that the class she was given was for the "bad students". The Bad Students. And it just so happened that all of the students in that classroom were Black. All of the other classrooms were mixed race, but the black students had been clumped into a classroom and labeled as the troubled students. Interesting?

When she decided to play the What do you want to be when you grow up game one girl exclaimed "I don't want to go to fucking college. I want to work at McDonalds" Random: " So you want to own your own's McDonald's right" Student: "No... I just want to work at McDonalds" and she stated this without a glimpse of laughter. McDonalds was her dream. For 8 out of the 10 males in the classroom, the NFL was their dream. For 9 out of the 10 ladies in the room, being a "model" was their dream. Not a doctor, scientist, lawyer, banker, professor, or president but a baller and a video girl. Interesting?

So you mean to tell me that in our lovely nation's capital we have schools were Black students are segregated into classrooms where they are labeled as failures and given no support from the school's administration in 2009. And let's not get on the topic of their parents because half of them are crackheads, prostitutes, in jail, or nowhere to be found. And do you think that these students are not painfully aware that no one believes in them? Oh but they are. As one student explained " I'm am not bad. I act like this because of the class that I am in and this is how they expect me to be." So now I start to ask questions.

Anyone who reads this and is not upset... please leave my blog and never return. If it does not upset you that the future seeds of this nation are being locked away in rooms where they are reminded that they are separate and unequal and will never amount to anything and you don't see any fault in that, our friendship should end. Right now.

I know some people can't relate to going home to no food on the table or a mother who is laid out on the floor because she spent the night snorting cocaine and getting raped by the man she brought it from. Only to return home in a state of confusion the next morning, forgetting to send her baby boy off to school. Or better yet, that little girl who is afraid to look at herself in the mirror after being raped by her father repeatedly yet she must walk 10 miles to school the next day and put a smile on for her teacher who belittles her intellect on a constant basis. Maybe you haven't been there so you can't sympathize. Or maybe you sympathize because you understand that an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. So my people there are many injustices in our education system and something must be done for our children.

No longer should we except children being labeled as bad kids at such a young age and put in a classroom where they aren't able to access the same resources as their peers who are widening the achievement gap. Wouldn't you be a bit rebellious too if you were raising yourself and your sibling at the age of 8 with an abusive father who told you ever day that you would never amount to anything? Does that mean you don't deserve the right to an education in an integrated classroom with your peers? Does that mean in ten years, you will most likely be a statistic because no one cared enough to save you then?

Will this vicious cycle continue or will we stand up for our children who can not yet stand and demand that they be given chances. Demand that we hire teachers that actually give a fuck about the future of our children and not just about how many of his/her students pass the standardized test they are given each year. I know that I will be demanding that schools integrate different methods of reaching all the children in the classroom into the curriculum so that each boy and girl has a fighting chance. I know I will demand that principals not sit idly by as students cry out for help, in whatever manner they may do so. But hey... maybe I am the only solider on earth ready to ride. Maybe no one else cares. Maybe people are too busy concerned with their own success to realize that if one fails we all fail.

Shit maybe I'm being idealistic. Nope that's not it. I'm a realist and I get it. Do you? If so... do something about it. We are on the verge of losing an entire generation. I will not stop until I know I have done my part to ensure that this does not happen. And I ask, before any of us goes off trying to save the world... let's make sure we secure our home front. Trust there is a lifetime of work here to be done.

You don't have to agree with anything I've said, but if you have something negative to say please save it for someone who cares. My spirit is whole and I don't need anything broken in my circle.

Peace. Love. Happiness

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Hey Family,

I have decided today that I am going to look into joining The Peace Corps after graduation. This is no joke. I am going to change the world folks. Please send your blessings my way as I embark on this journey of self-realization and fulfillment!

God is soooooooo gooooooddd!!!!!