As we prepare to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and the Selma March, we also must acknowledge that we are still not a harmonious nation - or world - a half-century after these two central events in the history of civil rights.
This long weekend, as we reflect on his life and legacy, we also renew our dedication to a cause Dr. King held dear: ensuring the story we tell ourselves as a nation is an inclusive one, which does justice to all our communities and captures the full spectrum of the American past.
Central to King's philosophy was the idea that men and women of all races deserve the dignity of work, the right to earn more than poverty wages. And he knew that goal was not attainable without full-throated worker voice.
After he signed the Voting Rights Act, I asked LBJ if he thought this meant we'd have a black president in our time. He said no, we would have a woman first. Well, one down, another to go.
The battle over MLK Day moved a Super Bowl. Southern states weren't the last to celebrate it. The law making it a national holiday was signed by a Republican President. And you'll never guess who voted for it in the U.S. Senate!
Recent events are stark reminders that we have not reached the mountaintop where "all God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands." Today is a cause not for celebration but for mourning. More than 50 years later, it seems that we have chipped away at Dr. King's efforts to get a foothold on the dream.
Because of what has been going on, it was easier to feel like the events of the past were connecting with those of the present. It felt like the film gave insight as to what people of color are dealing with today.
I am confident that the Port Authority will want to act quickly and protect the workers that are vital to the airports' daily operations. We may not be able to make working at the airport stress-free, but we can at least give these workers the security of knowing they will be paid their due.
Martin Luther King Jr. conquered the challenge Abraham Lincoln outlined in his second inaugural address in 1865. No two human beings have defined freedom and the struggle for its achievement better.
My greatest concern with the story told in the movie Selma is that it presents the final march from Selma to the Alabama state capital in Montgomery and the Voting Rights Act as a triumphant conclusion to the African American Civil Rights Movement. But history is much more complicated.
Few people today know of Dr. King's opinions on issues like poverty and income inequality, or of his early support for Israel and his public opposition to the war in Vietnam. This blog post addresses some of the important contemporary domestic and international issues that I believe would be of major concern to Dr. King if he were alive today.
On the anniversary of King's birth, I can't help but think how disappointed he would be if he were alive to see how hard it is to build affordable housing in affluent, mostly white communities, thereby precluding many blacks from living in places with good schools and job opportunities.
What are you doing on Monday? It's Martin Luther King Day. Your kids are out of school. Maybe you also have the day off. How about making it a day on instead?
I hear black folks arguing all the time about whether there has, in fact, been any progress. Isn't Selma itself an undeniable demonstration of progress for black folks?
Here is a list of 10 tips that I found to be effective and I hope that could be useful if you ever find yourself in a situation like that, you should always refer to an attorney for legal advice.
We will soon be entering our field as young and idealistic rabbis. The pope, MLK and Moses serve as some of our role models for this type of spiritual activism. In order for religion to be relevant to our time, it is upon us to leave the confines of the synagogue and enact the change we wish to see.