Fri Jan 31st, 2020 at 06:23:47 PM EST
"So let freedom ring. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, let freedom ring. But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. And when this happens, when we let it ring, we will speed that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last, free at last -- Thank God Almighty, we're free at last."
(TIME: Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929 - 1968)
More below the fold ...
Finding the Meaning of Free at Last
On a clear August day 50 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Addressing a crowd that stretched past the Washington Monument, he spoke about the injustice endured for centuries by African Americans and the importance of not seeking "to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred."
King (GRS'55, Hon.'59) drew for his speech from the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, and his own rich pool of experiences, but the speech is best known for its famous refrain, borrowed from a Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
In advance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, BU Today asked faculty, staff, and students to talk about what the iconic speech means to them (see the videos above).
King's famous speech has inspired countless works of art, among them the Free at Last sculpture by Chilean Sergio Castillo that stands at the heart of Marsh Plaza. From its granite base, the sculpture's 50 doves, forged from Corten steel, rise in unison, symbolizing peace in each of the 50 states. From afar, the flock merges to form the outline of a single dove arching toward the sky.
Castillo came to BU in 1975, invited by the late President John Silber (Hon.'95) to teach at the College of Fine Arts while working on the sculpture. "For me, the issue of human rights is very essential in the world," Castillo once said. "It is a human position that appears in many ways in all my work." Two other Castillo sculptures grace the BU campus: Explosion, in front of the Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering, and Earth Orbit, in the School of Management lobby.
○ Martin Luther King: The Three Evils of Society
Because Martin Luther King opposed the hardship, lies and brutality of Johnson's Vietnam War ...
"Beyond Vietnam" - Event | April 4, 1967 |
The Riverside Church in the City of New York
On 4 April 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his seminal speech at Riverside Church condemning the Vietnam War. Declaring "my conscience leaves me no other choice," King described the war's deleterious effects on both America's poor and Vietnamese peasants and insisted that it was morally imperative for the United States to take radical steps to halt the war through nonviolent means (King, "Beyond Vietnam," 139).
King's anti-war sentiments emerged publicly for the first time in March 1965, when King declared that "millions of dollars can be spent every day to hold troops in South Viet Nam and our country cannot protect the rights of Negroes in Selma" (King, 9 March 1965). King told reporters on Face the Nation that as a minister he had "a prophetic function" and as "one greatly concerned about the need for peace in our world and the survival of mankind, I must continue to take a stand on this issue" (King, 29 August 1965). In a version of the "Transformed Nonconformist" sermon given in January 1966 at Ebenezer Baptist Church, King voiced his own opposition to the Vietnam War, describing American aggression as a violation of the 1954 Geneva Accord that promised self-determination.
In early 1967 King stepped up his anti-war proclamations, giving similar speeches in Los Angeles and Chicago. The Los Angeles speech, called "The Casualties of the War in Vietnam," stressed the history of the conflict and argued that American power should be "harnessed to the service of peace and human beings, not an inhumane power [unleashed] against defenseless people" (King, 25 February 1967).
King's speech, titled "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence"
○ Martin Luther King Jr.'s Searing Antiwar Speech 50 Years Later | The New Yorker |
Martin Luther King Jr. on the Vietnam War | The Atlantic |
King's opposition to the Vietnam War gained national attention on February 25, 1967, when he appeared alongside four anti-war U.S. senators at a daylong symposium in Beverly Hills, California. In a powerful address, King described how the casualties of the increasingly unpopular war had spread beyond its physical horrors to wreck the Great Society and threaten American principles and values. His outspokenness about an issue not ordinarily seen as a question of civil rights brought a storm of criticism.
Lessons not learned and especially after the Fall of Communism, the decade of peace of the 90s, and the attack on America because of acts of previous administrations since the Second World War.
Don't ever speak of Brexit as an act of freedom for men! It will infuriate me because of its absurdity. BoJo could have uttered those words.
Thx for the reminder to Number 6.
Great Depression -- Ku Klux Clan racism against Jews, Negroes and Catholics
Notes on Writing the History Of the Ku Klux Klan, 1866-1954
It would not be until the 1920s, that the Supreme Court would begin thinking seriously about the protection of civil rights. The New Deal response to the depression, and the following war years, grew a new role and powers for the national government. With the 1954 school desegregation decision (Brown v. Topeka et. al.), a civil rights revolution would begin. The hesitantly interventionist federal government would undertake to keep the promise of the Reconstruction Era's Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. Faced with the black civil rights movement out in the streets and violence from a revived Ku Klux Klan, the national government, with Supreme Court approval, would find a use for the Reconstruction Era's long forgotten Enforcement Laws.
For a hundred years the memory of the Klan, and sometime its behavior, lingered on. Its saga as the hero and great folk legend of the white South stemmed partly from the fact that the night riders appealed to a sense of excitement, adventure, mystery, and violence. The Klansmen were aristocrats, they were heroes, and they were a hell of a bunch of fellows. The high estate of the memory of the Reconstruction Klan also stemmed from the fact that it was the action of white southerners who believed that the color of the South was and had to be white. The resulting view of the Klan as a regulating force for protection in lawless times captured the hearts of those who rode and later generations of southerners--as well as many northerners.
○ Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism | SPLC |
New York Jews and the Great Depression
This remarkable chronicle of New York City's Jewish families during the years of the Great Depression describes a defining moment in American Jewish history. Beth S. Wenger tells the story of a generation of immigrants and their children as they faced an uncertain future in America. Challenging the standard narrative of American Jewish upward mobility, Wenger shows that Jews of the era not only worried about financial stability and their security as a minority group, but also questioned the usefulness of their educational endeavors and the ability of their communal institutions to survive. Wenger uncovers the widespread changes throughout the Jewish community that enabled it to emerge from the turmoil of this period and become a thriving middle-class ethnic group in the post-World War II era.
Responses to the Great Depression set in motion new forms of Jewish adaptation and acculturation in the United States. Jewish families pooled their resources, says Wenger. Children remained in their parents' homes to pursue education when jobs were scarce and postponed marriage and childbearing. Jewish neighborhoods nurtured a sense of Jewish community and provided support networks for working-class families. Although the New Deal and the welfare state transformed ethnic politics, Jewish political culture remained intact and actually facilitated Jewish entry into the new Democratic coalition. Jewish leaders preserved private Jewish philanthropy in New Deal America by redesigning it as a vehicle to strengthen ethnic culture and commitment. In struggling Depression-era synagogues, Jewish leaders consciously addressed social, economic, and political needs and expanded secular and cultural activities. The changes inaugurated during the Great Depression decisively shaped the character of American Jewish life in the twentieth century.
○ America's Forgotten Pogroms In the 1940s
○ Seattle's Jews during America's Great Depression
Related reading ...
○ The 1981 Lynching that Bankrupted an Alabama KKK
○ 1910-1920s US Immigration Defining Whiteness
TRUMP SR. THE REINCARNATION OF BARRY GOLDWATER REPUBLICANS - 1964