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Friday, January 18, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King

Birthday Celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on" John F. Kennedy.

First and foremost, we would like to honor two guiding lights of the Civil Rights movement in America, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ms. Rosa Parks - who taught us to view one another, not through a lens of color, but of character … and most of all, through a lens of Love.

If it was not for Rosa Parks, and if it were not for Martin Luther King Jr. none of the immigrants would have made it to America, I am here today because of them and I owe my gratitude to them.

It was their effort that lifted a huge burden from American psyche and freed every one's conscience in America. Our open minds and open heart are the reason for our relative joy and peace. We need to do more and welcome and encourage individuals regardless of their affiliation. It is because of that attitude America is where it is today.

Please refer to: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Honored_MartinLutherKing_TG20056.asp

Mike Ghouse
Birthday Celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

FEW HAVE HAD AS MUCH IMPACT upon the American consciousness as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A Baptist minister and passionate fighter for civil rights through non-violent action, he was the closest this country has come to producing a leader with the moral stature of Mohandas Gandhi. When King was assassinated in 1968, citizens in many major cities reacted violently --- while others held vigils and peaceful gatherings. And Americans, black and white, wondered what would happen to his dream.

by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guarranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. 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 from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up 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 are free at last!"

City plans events to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Local and national activities commemorating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth will be held on and in the days surrounding his birthday.

Dr. King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and died April 4, 1968. The nation's most recognized civil-rights icon would have turned 79 this year. Many schools, churches and organizations will hold events to honor him. The city's Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center will sponsor weekend activities on Jan. 18 and 19. Jan. 21 is the national holiday.

Community-sponsored events include the following:

• 7 p.m. Sunday, Dallas-area ministers and their congregations will gather at Saintsville Church of God in Christ, 2200 S. Marsalis Ave., to honor Dr. King. Bishop J. Neaul Haynes is Saintsville's pastor. The Rev. Lelious Johnson, senior pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, will speak. Mr. Johnson is the new president of the Oak Cliff Baptist Ministers Union, succeeding the Rev. Nathan Sargent, pastor of Faithful Missionary Baptist Church.

• 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dallas school district students and educators will join the public in a celebration at St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, 5710 E. R.L. Thornton Freeway. St. Luke senior pastor Tyrone Gordon will speak.

City-sponsored activities include the following:

• 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will host the kickoff of activities in the seniors wing of the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center at 2901 Pennsylvania Ave. Dr. King was a member of the fraternity. Dr. Karry Wesley, senior pastor of Antioch Fellowship Baptist Church in Oak Cliff, will speak. After Dr. Wesley's remarks, program participants and the public will march to the front of the King Center complex for a candlelight ceremony at the statue of Dr. King.

• 10 a.m. Jan. 19, the city-sponsored King parade will feature diverse groups, dignitaries and other people representing Dr. King's emphasis on multiracial unity. The parade will begin at Dallas City Hall Plaza at the corner of Young and Ervay streets, proceed south down Ervay to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, head east on MLK – passing in front of the King center – and end inside Fair Park.

• 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins will speak at the annual King awards banquet at the Adam's Mark Hotel, 400 N. Olive St. downtown. Individuals and businesses will be awarded for community service. Tickets are $65. Call 214-670-8438 or 214-670-8418.

Other community-sponsored events include:

• 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20, the 25th annual Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement Concert, sponsored by The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, is scheduled at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2501 Flora St. downtown. Tickets are $10, $15 and $25. Roz Ryan and Karen Clark Sheard will be guest soloists. The concert honors Dr. King, his late daughter Yolanda King and the late Jerry Mitchell, a concert choir organist.

• 10 a.m. Jan. 21, the 22nd annual King parade, sponsored by Elite News, will begin at Forest Avenue and Lamar Street, move east along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and end at Robert B. Cullum Boulevard at Fair Park. An Elite News King festival, featuring entertainment, vendors, health screenings and children's activities, is scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. in the Fair Park Automobile Building. For more information, call 214-372-6500.

ABOUT TOWN: A forum to discuss wide-ranging issues concerning ex-offenders, whom forum organizers prefer to call "formerly incarcerated persons," has been postponed indefinitely. The "Coming Home, Coming Up – Incentives for Inclusion" forum had been set for today and Thursday at the Adam's Mark Hotel downtown. For questions about a new date, call Gwen Broadnax at 214-875-2325 or e-mail gbroad nax@dallascounty.org.

• The deadline to nominate inductees to the Hall of Fame that honors living and dead black educators from the Dallas area has been extended from Saturday to Jan. 19. Nomination forms are available at The Dallas Post Tribune, 2726 S. Beckley Ave., and the African American Museum at Fair Park, where the Hall of Fame is housed. For more information, call 214-339-0375 or 214-330-0626.

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