Watch: My Black History: Michael Eric Dyson on How MLK’s Assassination Opened His Eyes

From: The Root

Video Created by: P.J. Rickards

 

To commemorate the month of February and its celebration of Black History, Michael Eric Dyson (author, professor, and ordained minister) reflects on how the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. changed Dyson’s perspective on racial injustice.

Dyson’s lesson learned from MLK’s assassination is best summarized as he states,

“…his death, which gave rise to so much in the aftermath, his blood mixed in the soil from it sprouted an entire new awareness and consciousness that led from his assassination to 40 years later to the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama.”

Read more about Michael Dyson’s full reflection here.

 

To learn more about social justice organizations and leaders during the Civil Rights Movement click here.

 

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Bernice King’s Perception of Dr. King’s Vision of Peace for Our World

By Bernice A. King, HuffingtonPost.com

(. . .) He reminded us that “the choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence; it is between nonviolence or nonexistence.” Therefore, we are celebrating the 2014 King Holiday Observance with the theme, Remember! Celebrate! Act! King’s Legacy of Peace for Our World. This theme also pays homage to the fact that, this year, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of both my father receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.images With the theme of peace in mind, we launched our five-year “Choose Nonviolence” campaign.

As part of the campaign, our goal is to expose, encourage, educate, engage and empower one million current, emerging and next-generation leaders to embrace Dr. King’s leadership philosophy. This will be done through social media, dialogues, summits, marketing campaigns and a global leadership initiative. images-1On the national holiday today, The King Center is calling for a moratorium on violence. Specifically, we are asking that there be no shots fired — no shooting off at the mouth with our tongue, no shooting off physically with our fists and no shooting off of any type of gun! Just for one day — on the King Holiday — in recognition of my father, and as TIME magazine has said, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers, let us honor the memory of one of the world’s most highly regarded nonviolent proponents of peace on his holiday, with no shots fired. Instead, we ask that people engage in something positive and uplifting in service to humanity. (. . .)

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Bernice King

Choosing nonviolence does not mean that one will never get angry or become upset with others, including the ones we love. One day my dad and brothers were riding their bicycles, and I decided to follow them into the street on my tricycle. My father was very upset, but he remained disciplined and didn’t let his emotions take him too far, which is an important part of embracing nonviolence.

I shared this story about my father to remind us that as human beings we will fall short from time to time. We will get angry, feel hurt, or say something we wish we hadn’t. It’s okay.The important thing to remember is that we must remain disciplined in how far we take that anger or hurt, and that it is presented in an appropriate and nonviolent manner.

Read the full article.

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This Day in Black History:Young Demonstrators March in Birmingham

From Black First: 2,000 years of extraordinary achievement

Birmingham Protest

Birmingham Protest

On this date in 1963, young demonstrators marched on the Birmingham, AL City Hall for civil rights.

Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the protest began in the middle of bomb blasts and police brutality. City Commissioner of Public Safety, “Bull” Connor, ordered the arrest of 900 young people in two days. Later, police attacked the youths with high-pressure fire hoses and dogs.

Despite pleas for non-violent demonstration, rioting continued for days when a truce was declared. A settlement desegregating some city facilities was announced later in that month.

Read more of teh article here.

This Day in Black History: Coretta Scott King is Born

From Who’s Who of American Women

Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King was born on this date in 1927. She was an African-American civil rights activist and author.

From Heiberger, Alabama, Coretta Scott was the daughter of Bernice McMurry Scott, a housewife, and Obadiah Scott, a lumber carrier. Scott grew up walking three miles each day to school while school buses carrying white children drove by her. Such occurrences, while difficult, led her to strive for equality and the best for herself. Scott went on to graduate from high school and in 1945 entered Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio on a scholarship.

Majoring in Education and Music, Scott became alarmed when she was not able to teach in a public school because she was Black. At this time she became involved with Civil Right groups, joined the Antioch chapter of the NAACP, the college’s Race Relations Committee, and Civil Liberties Committees. In 1951, she accepted a scholarship to continue her musical training at the New England Conservatory in Boston before finishing her degree from Antioch College. Upon her arrival in Boston, she met her future husband, Martin Luther King Jr., a young minister who was studying for his Ph.D. at Boston University.

On June 18, 1953, Martin Luther King Sr. married his son, Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott. They returned to the South to work on the civil liberties of Black Americans. By 1964, King was the mother of four children: Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice Albertine. She had also become active with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Although usually at her husband’s side, she made solo appearances at various civil rights functions that her husband could not attend. She also performed at benefit concerts by lecturing and even singing to the audience. On April 4, 1968, her husband was shot and killed while giving a speech on a hotel balcony.

Read more about Coretta Scott King here.

The Day That Changed Black America

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Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on a motel balcony

This date marks the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

He was shot to death at the Loraine motel in Memphis, TN. He was there to support striking Black garbage workers. News of the assassination resulted in an outpouring of sorrow and anger all over the world and riots broke out in more than 100 American cities.

Read more about Dr. King here.