“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.
"There will be no prison which can hold (a) movement down... The walls, the bars, the guns and the guards can never encircle or hold down the idea of the people."
Huey P. Newton
This weekend's Marches across the world were inspiring and beautiful; to acknowledge that we would like to feature some of your personal pictures and/or quotes in next week's email. Please send your thoughts and images to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, March 30th, 2018 at 10pm. Thank you!
"The willingness to sacrifice is the prelude to freedom."
To all those celebrating this weekend we extend our warmest wishes for a Happy Pesach, Happy Easter, and Happy Spring! We look forward to seeing you at an event or meeting this week.
"The Spring wakes us, nurtures us, and revitalizes us. How often does your Spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power it comes frequently or very frequently."
Happy weekend, WeCAN Family. We have more than a few new listings this week so please take a moment and scroll down to discover a variety of unique opportunities, classes, and events. Have a wonderful week and we look forward to seeing you at an event soon.Read more