“Over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace—which is the absence of tension—to a positive peace—which is the presence of justice.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Letters From Birmingham City Jail”, 1963
In celebration and recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we've compiled a collection of lesser known MLK facts for your edification and enlightenment.
Don't forget, too, to pop into the Brattleboro Food Co-op (2 Main Street, Brattleboro) on Monday, January 15th to chat with local social justice and activist groups from 10am-6pm throughout the store. We'll see you there!
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. experienced an accelerated education. He skipped two grades in high school, 9th and 11th, and entered college (Moorehouse College) at the tender age of 15 in 1944. By 19, he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
- King convinced “Uhura” on Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols (who incidentally later went on to work for NASA), to continue on with the role after the first season. Nichols stated he told her not to leave the show because she was not only playing a black person as a main character on TV, but she was also playing a character that didn’t conform to the stereotypical black person of the day, usually portrayed. Rather, Uhura was portrayed as an intelligent member of the crew and an equal to those around her.
-It wasn’t until the year 2000 that all 50 states officially observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The last states to join up where Arizona in 1992, New Hampshire in 1999, and Utah in 2000. The holiday itself was originally signed into federal law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, with the first MLK holiday on January 20, 1986.
-116 k-12 schools bear Dr. King's name in this country and approximately 900 streets in the Unites States are named after him, too, with one such street in almost every major city. Researchers at the University of North Texas have found that these streets tend to be poorer than others with the same racial demographics, though, and there has been concern recently with the crumbling conditions of the named roads nationwide.
-Dr. King got a C in public speaking at seminary school. In his first year of seminary school in Chester, Pennsylvania, one of Dr. King’s professors gave him a C in a public speaking course! In his third and final year, Dr. King was valedictorian with straight A's.
-Picking tobacco revealed to him a more open society. When King was 15, and again when he was 18, he worked summers harvesting tobacco in Simsbury, Connecticut, not far from Hartford. His experience as a middle-class son of a prominent black family from Atlanta's prosperous "Sweet" Auburn Avenue performing menial labor in Yankee territory helped shape his future. "On our way here we saw some things I had never anticipated to see,” he wrote his father in astonishment. “After we passed Washington there was no discrimination at all. The white people here are very nice. We go to any place we want to and sit anywhere we want to.” In a correspondence to his mother, he continued the theme, “I never thought that a person of my race could eat anywhere but we ate in one of the finest restaurants in Hartford. And we went to the largest shows there.”
-Between 1957 and 1968, he traveled more than 6 million miles and spoke at more than 2,500 events.
“In cold weather states like Vermont, where the weather can get to 20 below zero, home heating assistance is critically important. In fact, it is a life and death issue.”
Senator Bernie Sanders (I)
Hi everyone! We hope you're all staying warm. The next WeCAN Café is set for Thursday, January, 18th, 2018 7pm-9pm at 118 Elliot St, and we hope you can come! We had a good turnout at the first Café in the Fall (around 60-70 people came), and we think the upcoming Café is going to be great. If you represent an organization and would to reserve your tabling space please take a second to fill out this super quick form:
You will find all the details for the event in the calendar listing below. A Facebook event is on it’s way so keep an eye out for that, too. Once again, thank you, all!
"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year-to-come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'"
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Happy New Year, WeCAN Family! We wish you health, happiness, and justice in 2018 and we thank you with all our hearts for the effort you've put forth in the past year. 2018 will afford activists loads of opportunities to stand up and be counted, all culminating in Mid-Term Elections in November, and we look forward to helping you accomplish your activism goals throughout the year.
Take a look at the events coming up this week and start 2018 off on the right(eous) foot:Read more
"Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great if it is given with affection."
Happy Holidays WeCAN Family! We wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for a year full of resistance, camaraderie, and growth. We are truly inspired by your commitment to our county and country and we look forward to helping you accomplish great things in 2018. Have a happy holiday season and a healthy, justice-filled New Year.
In Solidarity - Ann, Joanna, and LeslieRead more
The FCC has voted to end Net Neutrality, but it's not over yet. Here’s what you can do to fight back this week.
You can use this script to get you started: “Hi. My name is (name) and I’m calling from (your location). Now that the FCC has rolled back Net Neutrality rules, I’m calling to ask you to commit to introducing and/or co-sponsoring legislation which would enshrine Net Neutrality into law. Consumers need protection from potentially deceptive or harmful practices from service providers. Additionally, enshrining the policy into law would help ensure the internet is “unfettered by Federal or State Regulation”- a wish specified by Congress in 1996. The FCC’s current oversight over regulation shows partisan practices toward the internet and should not continue. Thank you and have a great day.”
Call Your State’s Attorneys General
You can use this script to get you started: “Hi. My name is (name) and I’m calling from (your location). I am calling to ask (your attorney general’s name) to put forth a concrete plan on how they plan to address broadband providers who demonstrate they’re practicing anti-competitive conduct. Now that the FCC has voted to roll back Net Neutrality rules, it’s on states to help ensure consumers are protected from deceptive or harmful practices. I am also asking your office to join the coalition asking for an investigation into the fake comments submitted to the FCC during the public comment period. We demand answers as to how the system was SPAMMED. Thank you and have a great day.”
Make Net Neutrality an Issue in 2018 for Midterm Candidates
Use this script to get you started: “Hi. My name is (name) and I’m calling from (your location). I’m a supporter of (candidate name). I wanted to urge them to add the issue of Net Neutrality to their candidate platform for the upcoming election cycle. Now that the FCC has voted to roll back Net Neutrality laws we need current and future elected officials to take a stand making the Net Neutrality framework into a permanent law. Having legislation will help protect consumers from deceptive and harmful practices and will also help to ensure that Net Neutrality doesn’t become a partisan issue that is utilized by the FCC whenever there is a change of party in DC. Thank you and have a great day.”Read more