Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech and all of his peace-filled sermons are treasured tools of the American race catalog. They are the slices of King’s life that please us most. The problem with this is the same with all great leaders, – men grow up over time. All leaders eventually face realities beyond the heart and those realities are the ones of nightmares. Martin Luther King, Jr had those same revelations in the last years of his life, a secret heavily under guard.
Published on Jul 16, 2015
Minister Louis Farrakhan has advised all to study the last speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to reflect on the evolution of his message—from one of an integrationist “Dreamer” in 1963, to one of a true wide-awake revolutionary in 1968 when he was murdered.
“Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, ‘Wait.’ But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim…when you see the vast majority of twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky…when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you…when…your wife and mother are never given the respected title ‘Mrs.’…when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of ‘nobodiness’—then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.”
Why We Can’t Wait
Martin Luther King’s Classic Exploration of the events and forces behind the Civil Rights Movement
When I read those words this week, I thought it sounded like a good recommendation for residents of my hometown, Washington, DC, which has in essence been two separate and unequal cities since my great grandparents came here in the 1920s—and it remains so today.
Along with his rise to worldwide stardom, the musician and actor Harry Belafonte has been deeply involved in social activism for decades. One of Dr. Martin Luther King’s closest confidants, Belafonte helped organize the March on Washington in 1963. On Friday, the NAACP awarded Belafonte their highest honor, the Spingarn Medal. “Numerous strategies in the quest of our freedom has been played out at all levels of the social spectrum,” Belafonte says in his acceptance speech. “What is missing, I think, from the equation in our struggle today is that we must unleash radical thought. … America has never been moved to perfect our desire for greater democracy without radical thinking and radical voices being at the helm of any such quest.” [includes rush transcript]
“Poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well,” he said. “No talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people. So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse.”
Dr. West says that he would not have wanted the Republicans to assume power in the White House, but that people should not be forced to settle for the lesser of two evils. He also says that Dr. King would not approve of either President Obama’s policies or the state of the nation. He says that nearly every speech Dr. King gave before he died shows that he is not ideologically aligned with President Obama, but that some are quick to make the affiliation primarily because he’s black.
“Today we remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.: the man who laid out his dream for a more equal America nearly 50 years ago. Unfortunately, we haven’t made as much progress as King probably would have hoped. Though relevant government statistics are limited and do not go back to the 1960s, available data suggests that black America still has a long way to go before attaining true equality of opportunity.”