A Brief History of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was, and continues to be, a great inspiration in the fight for civil rights. The audio of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech remains one of the most moving and powerful speeches ever presented. Here is a brief look into the life of a man who would become one of the most famous civil right’s leaders of all time.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. Hailing from Georgia, King had a long history of Baptist ministers in his family. His family life was comfortable and loving, but Martin was exposed to racism despite all that. His father, Martin Luther King Sr., fought against racism, instilling these strong beliefs into his son very early on.

King then went on to go to college in 1948 and earned a sociology degree. He was a very good student and constantly at the top of his class. It was here he become more spiritually aware, and began to believe Christianity could be used to inflict positive social changes on the world.

King’s first entrance into the spotlight came because of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He soon became a figurehead and powerful speaker for the injustice and cruelty facing black people during this time. King would go on to speak at over 2500 events and deliver around 450 speeches per year. His powerful and passionate words paved the way for great change in America.

His most famous speech was delivered in the summer of 1963. The “I Have A Dream” speech was King’s attempt to get Washington to really listen. And, even if in the end it did not have his immediate, desired effect, it has stood the test of time through video, audio and written accounts of that momentous day.

On April 4th, 1968, King was assassinated while standing on his balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The shooter, James Earl Ray, eluded police for two months before he was captured. He was tried and eventually sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Although King’s life was suddenly taken from him, his words never left the hearts of the American people. His speeches continue to inspire every leader and follower of civil rights.
For more info on King and his legacy, please visit kingprogram.net

Dr. Bernice A. King, MLK’s Daughter, Continues the Fight for Equality

On August 28, 1968, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, American icon and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. gave the most historic speech in all of history. Martin Luther King Jr. spent years fighting for civil rights, leading thousands 2,000 people on a 5 day, 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama, joint jail nearly 30 times for the cause, and penned a letter from the Birmingham Jail that encouraged millions to help change the world.

Sadly, despite making significant progress over the last 50 years, we are still far behind the times. Discrimination still exists in force but now hides behind digital anonymity and code words, although there are plenty of examples that are certainly out in the open. And black families are still much poorer than white families and are often treated unfairly by law enforcement and other authoritative figures.

Luckily, Martin Luther King’s legacy lives on and people are fighting for equal rights across the world. One of those civil rights activists is actually his daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King. Dr. King recently spoke at East Tennessee State University to talk about how she continued her parents’ legacy over the years.

According to The Erwin Record, Dr. King is the Chief Executive Officer of The King Center, which was founded by her mother, Coretta Scott King, in 1968, shortly after MLK was shot and killed. The King Center’s Board of Trustees appointed Dr. King to her CEO position in 2012, after years of proving she has the same message as her mother and late father.

Dr. Bernice A. King spoke at her mother’s stead at the United Nations when she was only 17 years old.

“What I’m trying to do is fulfill what my father said, which is, ‘We have to find a way to live together as brothers and sisters, or together we’re going to perish as fools,'” Dr. King said.

We still have a long way to go in order to live in the world that Dr. MLK dreamed of, but as long as we have inspiring leaders like his daughter and others, there will always be people fighting for progress. Check out the famous MLK speech and documentary at KingProgram.net.

‘Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee’ Premieres Sunday, Jan 17 on Centric TV For MLK Jr. Day Holiday

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*For more than a half century, audiences have been mesmerized by the love story between Hollywood legends Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee. Now, their grandson Muta’Ali unearths the foundation of this unbreakable bond in the documentary Life’s “Essentials with Ruby Dee,” which premieres on Centric TV Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 3:00pm EST.

Through intimate conversations with the award-winning actress, playwright and activist, Muta’Ali not only discovers intimate details about his grandparents’ relationship, but also questions his ability to carry on the very dynasty that gave him life. In the film, the director breaks the wall between himself and his subject to ask heartfelt questions of his grandmother. “How do you stay faithful? And if I can’t see myself doing that, how can I honestly get married knowing that I could eventually break the heart of the woman I love?”

“I can’t say I didn’t do anything to make Ossie unhappy…” Ms. Dee states as she carefully reveals the core commitment made between her and Mr. Davis. Her answer only sparked more questions for Muta’Ali, provoking him to dig deeper into the family archives and the history of Davis and Dee’s union.

He chronicles their remarkable journey as trailblazers in the arts community and activists in the Civil Rights Movement. Muta’Ali also shares exclusive video footage, family photos and memorabilia. In addition, a host of celebrity friends like Alan Alda, Angela Bassett, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Hill Harper, Samuel Jackson, Spike Lee, S. Epatha Merkerson, Phylicia Rashad, Glynn Turman, Dr. Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez and Malik Yoba share eyewitness accounts of this American legacy.

Muta’Ali brilliantly captures his grandmother’s perspective about life’s essentials: love, marriage, commitment, conscious art and activism. The film preserves the wisdom of Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee for many longing to create a tradition of rich living that impacts today’s society.

In honor of Black History Month, the film will also be digitally released February 1st via iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee won “Best Documentary” and “Audience Choice Award” at the 2014 BronzeLens Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter said, “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee ultimately emerges as a deeply impassioned, thoughtful and loving portrait that brings a much deserved spotlight to these vitally important artists who contributed so much to American culture and politics.”

To speak with Muta’Ali regarding Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee, please contact Yaminah Ahmad, Public Relations Counselor, The Terrie Williams Agency at 404-861-0497 or [email protected]

For more information on the film, visit http://rubydee.lifesessentialsdocs.com/

About the Director

Muta’Ali has produced seven feature-length documentaries for recording artists under international record labels, including: Def Jam Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Atlantic Records. His content has appeared on CBS, BET, VH1 and MTV. Rounding out his range of production experience, Muta’Ali has produced three diverse, pop-culture-focused web series. He has also produced scripted and/or reality-based productions for clients including The Mo’Nique Show and Ebony/Jet Magazine.

About the Producer

Brooklyn-born film producer Jevon “NJ” Frank has an instinctive talent for photography and film. His passionate, notable projects are known for their thought provoking impact. For more than a decade, NJ has established a broad, devoted portfolio of clients including: AAA, The Mo’Nique Show, Michael Mauldin’s Fastlife 360, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Universal Music Recording artists Bun B., Atlantic Music Recording artist T.I. and Johnson Publications’ EBONY and JET Magazines. NJ recently wrapped production on Submit: The Reality of Cyber Bullying, a documentary which he hopes will bring awareness to the growing problem of individuals spreading hate and humiliation through social networks and other forms of electronic communications.

 

 

 

 

source:
Yaminah Ahmad
Public Relations Counselor
The Terrie Williams Agency
[email protected]

 

In Honor of MLK Day US Park Service won’t Charge Admission to National Parks

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*If you haven’t heard, the US Park Service announced that admission to all national parks will be free on Jan. 18 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Yep, that’s to Dr. King (and the Park Service), you won’t have to pat to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona or Yellowstone in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho (on Jan. 18).

The MLK Day promotion is part of events commemorating the National Park Service’s centennial. There will be 16 days in all this year in which admission is free to parks and historical sites run by the NPS.


The NPS operates several sites tied to key moments in King’s life and the civil rights movement, such as King’s childhood home in Atlanta and a memorial near the National Mall in Washington, but these sites are free every day.

The 54-mile trail from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery — along which King and thousands of protesters marched in 1965 to demand voting rights — is also part the NPS.

h/t: the huffington post

Civil Rights Icon John Lewis to Have Navy Ship Named in His Honor

john lewis (at mic)

Congressman John Lewis

*(Via Latin Post) – The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday that it will name a ship after Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia to honor his legacy as a civil rights hero and tireless fighter for freedom in America.

Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus said in a press release that naming a United States Navy replenishment oiler after Lewis “is a fitting tribute to a man who has, from his youth, been at the forefront of progressive social and human rights movements in the U.S., directly shaping both the past and future of our nation,” according to NBC News.

The vessel, on which construction will begin in 2018, will be “the first ship of the next generation of fleet replenishment oilers,” he said. Oilers are ships responsible for providing fuel replenishment along with fleet cargo and store to ships at sea.

“As the first of its class, the future USNS John Lewis will play a vital role in the mission of our Navy and Marine Corps while also forging a new path in fleet replenishment,” Mabus said.

In an interview with NBCBLK, Lewis said he cried when first learned that a ship would be named after him. He added that Mabus paid a visit to his office a few months ago to tell him about the idea in person.

“He said, ‘I have been so moved and inspired by your work and others during the civil rights movement. My idea is to name a ship in your honor,'” Lewis said.

Read the FULL story at Latin Post.

Civil Rights Probe Opened by FBI into Shooting of Unarmed Man by Chicago Police Officers

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*(Via Raw Story) – The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the 2013 shooting death by Chicago police of a man whose family says was unarmed when two officers opened fire on him in his car, officials said on Saturday.

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante, who was appointed last month, said in a statement he had placed the two officers on administrative duties after recently learning of the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.

The revelation of the FBI probe follows large street demonstrations in Chicago over police use of force, and an announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice last month that it was investigating practices at the city’s Police Department.

The family of Esau Castellanos in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last year in federal court disputed the accounts of two Chicago police officers, Shawn Lawryn and Juan Martinez, who shot the man.

The officers said they fired at him, striking him three times, after he opened fire on them, even though investigators found no gun in his car, the lawsuit stated.

Castellanos, a father of three from Mexico, delivered pizzas for a living, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He was shot to death after he crashed his car while driving under the influence of alcohol with the two officers on his tail, according to the newspaper, which first reported on the FBI investigation.

The FULL report is waiting for you at Raw Story.

Martin Luther King Legacy Week Events (in LA) Start Jan. 12

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*Los Angeles, CA  – On King Holiday, Monday, January 18, 2016, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California (SCLC-SC) will hold their annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards & Benefit Gala in the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles.

“This year’s King Legacy Awards recipients reflect excellence in promoting equality and justice in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Honorary Chairperson Matthew M. Johnson, Esq., President of the LA Police Commission and Managing Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, “I’m excited to be a part of such a prestigious event that supports the mission of continuing to uphold and expand Dr. King’s dream.”

Hosted by actor William Allen Young of CBS drama, “Code Black,” the theme of the evening is ‘Bending the Arc & Breaking Barriers.’

“We are attempting to involve more programs and people from a cross section of the community, because that is how Dr, King lived” said Pastor William D. Smart Jr., President/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California.  “As we rebuild the movement it takes all of us participating and working together.”

The 2016 SCLC-SC King Legacy Awards honorees are: Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; DeVon Franklin, best-selling author and President/CEO of Sony Studios-based Franklin Entertainment; Ken Maxey,Comcast Director of External Affairs, California Region; and Charisse Bremond Weaver, President/CEO of the Brotherhood Crusade.

Get the rest of this article at EURweb.com.

 

Martin Luther King Assassination Film ‘Memphis’ Back on Track

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*Suddenly, 44 years after his assassination, there’s a lot of interest in Martin Luther King Jr. by filmmakers.

At one point last year “Memphis” was one of 5 MLK productions in the pipeline … all at varying stages of development.

The bottom line is that only ONE of the five projects has the backing of the King estate. That would be the undertaking from the Oprah Winfrey/HBO/Steven Spielberg/DreamWorks coalition

Hold on. Not so fast. Now it appears that “Memphis” is back on track after being in limbo for the past year or so, according to Shadow and Act.

Last we wrote about the Paul Greengrass-directed MLK assassination pic, “Memphis,” which was once a sure-thing, the studio backing it, Universal Pictures, had backed out of financing and distributing the film.

Why? Word on the street was that there was pressure from the MLK estate (and Andrew Young’s objections) to call off the project, because they were unhappy with the script.

The film, which was supposed to focus on the events leading up to King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, while he was trying to organize the city’s sanitation workers in spring of 1968; but it would have also highlighted his infidelity, which there was strong opposition to. It will also focus on the manhunt for James Earl Ray.

Tonight, Deadline is reporting that the project looks to be alive again, with French distribution company Wild Bunch getting behind the project, and super producer Scott Rudin producing, after almost a year in hiatus, and it just might be up next for Greengrass.

Meanwhile, entertainment industry blog Deadline also says that they’ve read the script, and called “Oscar caliber stuff.”

Read/learn more at Shadow and Act.

Balcony of Memphis Hotel/Museum where King was Slain to Open to Visitors

1968 iconic photo of Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy at the Loraine Hotel just before Dr. King was killed.

1968 iconic photo of Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy at the Loraine Hotel just before Dr. King was killed.

*Changes are being made to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn.

Soon,  visitors will be able to get a closer look at the place where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in the spring of 1968.

The museum, which was the Loraine Hotel, opened to the public in 1991, is renovating and will soon be allowing access to the balcony where King was shot, according to the Associated Press.

Until recently, museum visitors could see the balcony — the museum is built around the two-story motel — but they couldn’t walk on it. When the new exhibit opens, visitors will be able to step onto the balcony, and there will also be a lift for disabled guests.

King stayed at the Lorraine Motel on several occasions. During his last visit there, he was in Memphis to support sanitation workers who were on strike.

An exhibit displaying where King’s assassin, James Earl Ray, shot at the civil rights leader will be open during the renovation, which is now open as well. The balcony exhibit is planned to open on Nov. 19.

Pundit Boyce Watkins Sees Cornel West as MLJ Jr. and Barack Obama as JKF

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*In a recent article, Dr. Boyce Watkins posited that he sees history replaying itself. He sees Barack Obama as John F. Kennedy and Dr. Cornel West  (pictured) as Martin Luther King Jr.

RELATED: Smiley and West Turn Up Heat on Obama & Black Progressives on Poverty (Watch)

In other words, and this is deep, Cornel West is Martin Luther King, the preacher/scholar who is determined to die telling the truth, no matter what the consequence may be.

“It’s important to remember, he writes, “that it was possible to love both Kennedy and King,even as Dr. King refused to work for even the most benevolent politicians (as Rev. Al Sharpton has done with the Obama Administration). In the same vein, it is possible to love both Cornel West and Barack Obama, and I find myself in that category.”

Cornel West is, in my opinion, the most dangerous black man in America, and that’s why most self-serving, manipulative politicians hate him. There is nothing the establishment fears more than a highly-intelligent,conscientious, powerful, courageous and determined black man. Among all of the public figures I’ve had the chance to interact with, Cornel West has been the most impressive and the most persuasive: Even those who disagree with him respect him in the end, and his agenda is not tainted by a quest for money, fame or power. In my assessment, Dr. West is simply “burdened” with the intense desire to honor a higher power by relentlessly advocating for those who are less-fortunate, which can be a crime in a capitalist society.

 

In a recent interview,Tavis Smiley asked if President Obama is ever going to say the words “prison industrial complex” in public. Perhaps there are those who don’t care or think that these problems belong to other people. But I’ve seen families up close who’ve been devastated by this issue, and this is simply a fight I cannot ignore. Other matters, such as black unemployment,urban violence and unequal educational systems are not problems that we created ourselves, and similar to white Americans, we too have the right to demand that our tax dollars be used to help resolve these issues. Anyone who attacks a black person for speaking up for black people might need to check his psyche.

 

In the same interview as Smiley, Dr. West goes directly at those who should be his allies, Al Sharpton, Michael Eric Dyson, and Melissa Harris-Perry, using the term “up for sale” to describe their behavior over the last two years. I consider all of these people to be friends, but the lines in the sand have been drawn by dollar bills being supplied by MSNBC like machine guns being sold to African rebels so they can kill and contain their own people. There are ways that an outside power can use its ability to reward and punish to create factions where none previously existed, making it easier to take resources from the people without compensating them. In Africa, the resource being taken might be oil, and in black America, the resource is votes. Divided black leadership and the containment/control of Al Sharpton have made black people easier to conquer for the Democratic Party.

Read/learn more at Black Blue Dog.