It's time we renew and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. This would carry on the legacy and spirit of the Civil Rights Act and would continue to help America better live up to our creed that all individuals are created equal.
During a time of great concern and unrest in our communities, country, and world, celebrating Rev. King's birthday brings me joy and hope. The fact that his birthday is a nationally recognized holiday makes me both proud and optimistic.
January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time for realizing that slavery actually did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation. As a matter of fact, the U.S. State Department tells us that there are 12.3 million "trafficking slaves" around the world today.
Many will opine on the right way to recall and celebrate Dr. King's place in the universe. My modest contribution is to suggest we recall and celebrate the universe in which Dr. King, and all the rest of us, have found a place -- and the means by which we know it.
Christian McBride's The Movement Revisited, had one knockout performance at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia Nov. 21. It's an ambitious jazz oratorio- symphonia inspired by the lives of four iconic figures of the black civil rights movement.
The strength I witnessed was in the elders who led our march and carried the American flag. These men, beaten and brutalized so many decades ago, had marched with Dr. King during the original Freedom Marches. Additionally, I witnessed strength in the next generation.
Whatever functions to abridge or diminish the sense of responsible agency in our fellow human beings is an assault against the whole human race. Thus, voter suppression and the oppressive intention out of which it arises are an assault against humanity.
Ministry often seems like a very placid vocation. We engage with congregants as they heal from their surgeries. We attend birthday parties and anniversary celebrations, officiate weddings, and baptize babies and adults.
We Americans think of ourselves as advanced, at least technologically. The images of the first man on the moon, put there by American ingenuity and organization less than 200 years after the country's founding, can still thrill.
Last week, I went back to Oberlin for my 50th reunion where much of the weekend was a celebration of our graduation ceremony in 1965, whose commencement speaker was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Imagine what his prophetic voice might have accomplished had he lived into the 21st century.
In the face of the systematic racism of America's policing and prison system as well as crippling poverty that disproportionally affects the black community, how does non-violence work to actually solve the root of the problem? Or does it work at all?
Despite their persistent attempts to make it so, Dr. King was not merely a passive Black leader; he was a radical revolutionary whose vision of a racially and economically equitable society has yet to be realized.
Today, as we ponder Dr. King's legacy, we should understand the important role of government in ensuring fair opportunities for upward mobility, and we should welcome creative extremists in that just cause.
We've finally emerged from the crash of 2008. We've had 58 consecutive quarters of job growth. Unemployment is declining. Productivity is up. Yet, most Americans aren't exactly high-fiving each other. Never mind the state of the union; the state of their households isn't great.
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.