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April 2008

April 30, 2008

Is Wright Audacious?

Black blogger and Citizen Journalist Faye Anderson weighs in on Rev. Wright. Check out the site and side links. You might find something else of interest. I don't know Ms. Anderson. But she seems to gear her blog to both citizen journalism and the Black community.

I don’t have a church home at present, but I frequently attend service at churches of various denominations. In all my church visits, I never encountered a pastor like Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

April 29, 2008

Cuba voice heard through blogs

Among the most frequented international blogs are a few of the blogs Cuban citizens maintain illegally.

See the full story here.

Obama "Outraged" By Wright

In what is certain to be the hot topic in today's news, as well as sparking discussion within the Black and Black Church community, Presidential aspirant Barack Obama today distanced himself from his now controversial pastor in the strongest of terms.

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama says he was outraged by the comments of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and saddened by the spectacle of his appearance on Monday.
Wright said Monday that criticism surrounding his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church.

Obama told reporters Tuesday that Wright's comments do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church.

Obama said, "I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday."

King Assassin's Canadian Connection

Many might not remember, or be old enough to appreciate the details of the manhunt for James Earl Ray after Dr. King's murder. The search did have an international connection. Ray fled to Canada and took on several assumed identities.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has an item out that includes emerging details of the search. For a petty thief and drifter, Ray certainly got around.

There are several interesting, or perhaps curious items in the full article.

Through its investigation, the CBC has learned that:

Ray was spotted acting furtively behind Toronto's new city hall building shortly after his photo appeared in Canadian newspapers as the prime suspect in the King murder. An eyewitness told police that Ray tried to hide his face with a newspaper before departing on foot with a red-haired woman whose identity has never been ascertained.

The address Ray gave when stopped for jaywalking in Toronto was never fully explored by police. It turned out to be a brothel run by an ex-con and was the likely source of not only the fake identities but also where he stayed on the two nights his whereabouts in the city could not be verified.
That address, 6 Condor Avenue in the east end, near the Canadian National Railway tracks, was circled on a map Ray left behind but it was mislabeled by police with the name of the street on the other side of the tracks.

Ray's official explanation of how he picked up at least three of the four aliases he used, of men from a small neighbourhood in Scarborough, has proven to be inaccurate, continuing his pattern of lying to shield those who helped him.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Press Tour Not Helping Obama's Campaign

The controversy caused by Wright's sermons seemed to be fizzling out, but when Rev. Wright took it upon himself to conduct a media tour to reaffirm the statements he made in his sermon, the spotlight has reignited.

Full Story

Mr. Wright, Senator Barack Obama’s former pastor, was cocky, defiant, declamatory, inflammatory and mischievous, but most of all, he was all over the place, performing a television triathlon of interview, lecture and live news conference that pushed Mr. Obama aside and placed himself front and center in the presidential election campaign.

“He does not speak for me; he does not speak for the campaign,” Mr. Obama said Monday.

By the time he took the stage on Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, Mr. Wright was on a tear, insisting that “this is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright, this has nothing to do with Barack Obama, this is an attack on the black church.” He delivered a rambling disquisition on race, African tradition and theology, and he was clearly enjoying himself, frowning in concentration as the moderator read written questions from reporters, then stepping up to the lectern with feisty rejoinders and snappy retorts, looking as pleased with his replies as a contestant in a high school spelling bee who has just correctly spelled the final word.

April 28, 2008

An Interview With Martin Luther King, Jr.

Readers might find this interesting. A journalist has secured permission to republish an interview done with Dr. King from May of 1963. It's an old article posted word for word. That would explain the use of the word "negro" in the introduction below. Few if any journalists would use that terminology today.

WHEN representatives of the Canadian Broadcasting Co. and I sat down for an interview with Martin Luther King, Jr., in the courtyard of the Gaston motel in the heart of downtown Birmingham's Negro district on May 14, we found him calm, composed and optimistic—qualities which characterize his leadership of the nonviolent resistance movement which has become the most vital force in the struggle to end racial segregation in the United States.

The day before, he had been able to announce completion of a four-point agreement between Negro negotiators and influential representatives of the white business community. He felt that the accord had marked the end of a month of nonviolent demonstrations that centered attention on a city which Dr. King has described as a symbol of the hard core of southern resistance to integration.

The item documents some poignant moments in the history of race relations in America.

"This is the beginning of the end of massive resistance to integration," he said. "Other communities will see that insisting on the segregationist position is like standing on the beach of history and trying to hold back the tide."

That was at noon on Saturday. Less than 12 hours later bombs hurled by white men ripped into the Birmingham home of Dr. King's brother, A. D. (like-wise a minister), while others tore a gaping hole in the Gaston Motel.

An hour earlier, members of the Ku Klux Klan of Alabama had held an open meeting in suburban Bessemer. By the light of two burning crosses they had prayed for the demise of Dr. King and "the Kennedys" and called on God to maintain separation of the races.

April 24, 2008

Looking Back While Looking Forward

The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting item out today. With an eye on Baltimore, it notes the on going efforts to heal wounds and scars from forty years ago when Dr. King was assassinated.

BALTIMORE - Robert Birt's contribution toward healing his native city was to draw stick-figure people, orange flames, and a military tank onto a ceramic tile. It was his way of expressing a painful civic memory and it was long overdue.

For 40 years, the violent civil disturbances that erupted in this city following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. have been a taboo subject. In a feat of willful community amnesia, the citizens of Baltimore have tried to erase the events of early April 1968 – when grief, anger, and frustration exploded into looting, arson, and street violence – devastating neighborhoods and rending the city along racial lines.

Families didn't talk about it, teachers didn't plan civic lessons around it, and policymakers didn't draw valuable examples from it. And two generations of Baltimoreans have grown up with no idea it ever happened.

Is America Ready For A Black President?

It seems some overseas observers feel America simply isn't ready to elect a Black President. This item is via the UK's TimesOnLine.

Worse still, this result underlined the fear that senior Democrats have long been aware of, but have never dared to express in public: America may not yet be ready to elect a black President. Worst of all, it has created conditions for the possible election victory of a militarily belligerent and economically unqualified Republican candidate who supports many of President Bush's worst policies.

On the one hand, clearly we've come a long way on issues of Race in America. During Dr. King's Era, it would have been impossible to even contemplate America electing a Black President. However, I still find the judgment above a bit off the mark.

Personally, I believe America is ready to and would elect a Black President, ultimately based upon qualifications and experience. That isn't to say current prospective nominee Barack Obama does or doesn't possess them. That's not for me to say here on this blog.

But in the end, I think most Americans would vote for the candidate they think best qualified to lead the country. Do you disagree?

North Carolina Republican: Wright - Obama Ad: too extreme

Even McCain requested that the party not air this commercial.
Full Story

The release of the commercial, which Republican officials said would debut during 6 p.m. newscasts in the state on Monday, injects a potentially divisive racial element into the state’s upcoming Democratic presidential primary on May 6. (Our colleague Elisabeth Bumiller, reporting from the campaign trail, tells us that Senator John McCain denounced the ad this morning. He also just issued a letter urging the head of the state G.O.P. not to broadcast the ad. See Mr. McCain’s comments and text of the letter below.)

April 23, 2008

CommUnity And Dr. King

It seems two college students interested in keeping Dr. King's Dream alive, as well as honoring his memory, have been engaged in what looks to be a fairly significant project. Forty years on, and Dr. King's life and message still resonate in the lives of so many people. It's next to impossible to place a value on his influence, or deny that his work continues.

CommUnity - Keeping the Dream Alive is one way to educate people from all generations and to spread the word of Martin Luther King Jr. Wynder, of Frostburg State University, and Gretchen Perry of Allegany College of Maryland, are spearheading the event that's been in the works since last year. They spoke to the Rotary Club of Cumberland on Tuesday.

The family-friendly day is the culminating event to A Celebration of The Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a nearly three-month project to raise awareness of King's legacy. In addition to the colleges, a number of community partners have made the celebration possible.

"A lot of times, people just aren't aware of other people's experiences and perspectives," Wynder said. "They don't realize the impact their actions or words can have. Most people are good at heart, but if they see things from a narrow point of view, they don't understand."

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