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MLK’s timeless question: Where do we go from here? See Page B1

JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017


WHAT’S IN IT FOR US? As the state party rebuilds from its latest electoral shellacking, Black Democrats and Black-owned media outlets grill prospective leaders.


ORLANDO – The Democratic Party, both national and statewide, is in shambles. After the surprising Electoral College defeat of Hillary Clinton, Republicans will consolidate their hold DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR. / HARDNOTTSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM on power nationally after One of these five candidates for leadership of the Florida Democratic Party will be the inauguration of Donald Trump in less than two tasked with the challenge of making it competitive in statewide elections again.

Dropping the mic

weeks. They already control both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. In Florida, Republicans control the governorship and both legislative bodies, even though for decades, there have been more registered Democratic voters that Republicans. Still, Democrats have won only a handful of statewide elections during non-presidential campaign cycles over the last 29 years. In September 2016, the Florida Courier reported that the Democratic Party officials continued to run its usual campaign playbook of using fear and hoping that anxiety and dread of a Donald Trump presidency would turn out Black voters, despite warnings that Black “millennials” in focus group studies, including young Black Barack Obama

“surge voters” in Jacksonville, showed little enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton. As early as July 2016, research indicated that Clinton was underperforming in Florida among young Black female Democratic voters by 12 percent when compared to Obama’s 2012 voter totals, and by 16 percent among young Black male Democratic voters. The Black voter turnout strategy – the same one Democrats have used for losing campaigns in the past without Obama on the ballot – failed miserably again in November 2016.

Small counties absent When Florida Democratic Party (FDP) leaders meet next weekend to pick a new See US, Page A2


Orlando is in mourning again

Obama gives farewell from Chicago hometown FROM THE TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE

CHICAGO – In a televised address before a passionate and exuberant Chicago audience, President Obama gave his departing speech Tuesday night, imploring African-Americans and others of diverse races and backgrounds to empathize with each other for a “more perfect union.” Amidst the pains of racism and discrimination for Blacks and other minorities, the president’s departing message was that among the clearest strategies for progress is the ability for all people to change their hearts toward each other.

Similar struggles “For Blacks and other minority groups, it means tying our own very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face – not only the refugee, or the immigrant, or the rural poor, or the transgender American, but also the middle-aged White guy who, from the outside, may seem like he’s got advantages, but has seen his world upended by economic and cultural and technological change. We have to pay attention, and listen,” the president said to applause. “For White Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t suddenly vanish in the ‘60s– that when minorSee OBAMA, Page A2



Law enforcement officers escort the body of Orlando Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton to the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office after she was allegedly killed by Markeith Loyd on Monday. Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Norman Lewis died in a crash while he was responding to the incident just two hours after Clayton was shot. As of the Florida Courier’s press time Wednesday night, a massive manhunt for Loyd was still underway.


SBA launches challenge for training, loans to ex-felons SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

Bomb threats at Jewish centers NATION | A6

MLK | B4

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the Aspire Challenge, a prize competition of up to $1.2 million to expand access to entrepreneurial education and microloans for formerly incarcerated individuals. The competition will make up to 16 awards of $75,000 to organizations across the nation to assist in delivering entrepreneurial training and microloan assistance to formerly incarcerated individuals.

“Entrepreneurship and small business ownership are proven paths toward wealth creation and financial independence, especially for people who might otherwise feel trapped by their circumstances,” said Tameka Montgomery, associate administrator for the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development. “Entrepreneurship can even be a ladder of opportunity for citizens who have served their debt to society but are struggling to find employment after incarceration. With the training and startup tools provided through this competition, these

citizens can finally start to rebuild their lives and build relationships with their families and communities.”

Online platform The competition will award prizes to entrepreneurial support organizations that propose innovative solutions to equipping returning citizens with the tools they need to succeed in entrepreneurship. Components by which the submissions will be assessed include recruitment methods, education/ training delivery, provision of

mentoring services, community connections and ways in which participants will be connected to access to capital and financial literacy. The SBA will award the prizes to organizations through the online competition platform, The competition is open to all for-profit and non- profit entities and organizations. The submission period opened Dec. 29, 2016 and will end on Feb. 12, 2017. The SBA anticipates that winners will be announced no later than March 14, 2017.

Emotional last speech by first lady

How much do you know about MLK?





JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017

Let’s talk about Judas Peter In the King James “version” of the Bible and in many other translations of Holy Scriptures, Judas betrayed Jesus, and Peter denied Jesus multiple times. If you live long enough, one of your friends, one of your supporters, one of your followers or one of your loved ones will betray and deny you! Well, a man that could become the chairman of the Democratic National Committee has been accused of exhibiting many Judas-like qualities. I don’t know, and don’t care, but news reports in both “major”media and Black-owned media suggest that United States Representative Keith Ellison (DMinnesota) has distanced himself literally, mentally and physically from someone he once helped and admired: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam.

180-degree turn Sources claim Rep. Ellison, a Muslim, changed his name to

win elected offices or gain favor with various political power brokers.


Is Ellison scared?


Keith Ellison Muhammad when he became active in NOI causes, then changed his name to Keith Ellison when he decided to run for Congress. I don’t know what his name is today or what his name will be tomorrow or the next day. What I do know is the worst thing you can be in Islam, Christianity or many other religions is a hypocrite! I also know a few other things. I know that political operatives in America change like the wind. They change their party affiliations, they change their political policies and philosophies, they change their political votes and support and they change their addresses and residences if they believe changes will help them

Hmmm…Could one reason for any changes in religious affiliation, in name, in attitude, in mindset or political ideology made by Rep. Ellison be based on the possibility that the congressman is afraid that his past connections to the Nation of Islam would hamper his efforts to come up, so to speak, in the Democratic Party? Possibly, because the American Jewish community is not very fond of Farrakhan and is very influential in American politics overall, and even more influential in state and local political campaigns and political activities. In fact, Black political professionals on all levels are told upfront that if Jews in the Democratic Party don’t want you to participate in Democratic purchasing transactions, you won’t

get any business from the Democratic Party!

Samuel Jackson, in the movie “D’jango Unchained!”

Heavy influence

Let him be

There is no business like show business! The music, movie, television, radio and other facets of the entertainment industry is show business and that industry is heavily influenced by executives, staff members, agents, writers, producers, directors and executive producers that practice Judaism or support Judaism. Everybody that has eyes should be able to see what kind of Black people get chosen to work in high level positions in both of America’s major political parties. Keith Ellison, Donna Brazile, Michael Steele and others like them are who you think they are! They are African-Americans that love their political party more than they love their race, more than they love their neighbors, and more than they love their God! What’s going on in party political hirings and appointments and the people that get the highest political jobs remind me of the slave Stephan, played by

Don’t get mad at Rep. Ellison. Let him be the kind of man that he wants to be. Washington, D.C. is a real-life “Candyland!” Ellison should fit and feel right in the political swamp. The Democratic Party can give him the title and position of chairman. But when he leaves the Democratic office building and is away from the voices of his DNC committee members, he will be called the same thing that most political party operatives call you and me – and it rhymes with “digger!” It’s bad to be called a “Judas” or a “Peter,” but it’s worse to be called both!

OBAMA from A1

ity groups voice discontent, they’re not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness. When they wage peaceful protest, they’re not demanding special treatment but the equal treatment that our founders promised.”

What ‘post-racial?’ With thousands in the audience at the McCormick Place convention center in his adopted home town of Chicago and millions more watching by TV, President Obama came full circle, discounting any notion of the so-called “post-racial” America that was discussed when he was first elected eight years ago. They have been years marked by some of the worst racial strife since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, largely due to the rise in hate and White supremacy groups in response to his election and to the increase in videotaped police shootings of Black people. “After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. And such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. Now, I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10, or 20, or 30 years ago, no matter what some folks say,” he said. “But we’re not where we need to be. And all of us have more work to do,” he said to applause.


from A1 party chair, a dozen counties will not participate in the vote. The counties, which are small, rural communities, each lack a formal party organization, known as a local Democratic Executive Committee, disqualifying them from the vote. The missing counties are emblematic of the party’s organizational challenges in the nation’s largest swing state.

Urban vs. rural Another challenge that Florida Democrats face, which is reflective of their national dilemma, is that their vote is centered in a handful of large urban counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange and Hillsborough. With limited resources and time, the question always becomes how much effort should be made in turning out the vote in those major counties versus developing party organizations in smaller counties where Republicans have dominated state elections. These are just some of the challenges facing the Florida Democratic Party as it selects a new leader to try to make the party relevant again.


President Obama was joined by Michelle and Malia after his farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday.

Tensions exacerbated The incoming Republican President-elect Donald Trump is among those who exacerbated racial tensions during the Obama years. During his candidacy, which was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, Trump never apologized for his long-held contention that Obama was born in Kenya, though he did finally acknowledge his birthplace of Hawaii. Trump’s public mockery of the handicapped, women, prisoners of war, Muslims, Hispanics and others fanned fumes that hate experts, including the Southern Poverty Law Center,

now credit for more than a thousand race hate incidents since his election. But Trump appeared to change his tune after his election and his first meeting with Obama. He publicly called President Obama a “great man” and said he would seek his counsel after a victory speech in which Trump called for the country to unite. Likewise, Obama, taking the high road after campaigning vigorously for his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has repeatedly said his greatest desire now is a “peaceful transfer of power”– a tenet of American democracy.

Five possibilities Five candidates are seeking to succeed current FDP chairwoman Allison Tant. They are Stephen Bittel, a major party fundraiser and developer from Coconut Grove; Leah Carius, chair of the Osceola County Democrats; Alan Clendenin, a retired air traffic controller; former state Senator Dwight Bullard of Miami, representing Gadsden County; and Lisa King, a state committeewoman from Jacksonville. But this year, Black Democrats are not sitting back waiting for something to happen and for everyone else to pick the state party’s leadership. For the first time in recent history, they linked up with the state’s Blackowned media outlets to question prospective leaders and to make their own recommendation as to who should be in charge.

Proactive move On Jan. 6, the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida (DBCF), led by chairman Henry Crespo, Sr., held a candidate forum at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. The DBCF has 19 chapters with more than 300 members across the state, including Black county and municipal elected officials and Democratic Executive Committee officers. It indi-

Dwight Bullard

Henry Crespo, Sr.

rectly represents more than 1.6 million Black Democrats – about one-third of all registered Democrats in Florida. n separate interviews during a six-hour meeting, the DBCF Executive Campaign Committee, chaired by Beverlye Neal, and her team asked the five candidates questions about their motivations, ideology, and what changes they plan to make in the party if elected. A press conference with Florida Black-owned media outlets, including the Florida Courier, followed. All the candidates attended.

Pointed questions Black journalists raised an array of topics of concern to African-Americans, including restoring voting rights for ex-felons; fighting voter suppression efforts; preventing “gerrymandering” voting districts; increasing turnout among Black voters; utilizing Black-owned media for paid advertising; and being more accountable to Black

Threats identified Eroding race relations was one of three “threats to democracy” that President Obama focused on in his final speech to the nation. Though some pundits expected him to boast on his record of accomplishments, he mainly dealt with those issues that represent those threats and outlined ways to progress. The other two threats he outlined were the mixtures of terrorism and economic deprivation, such as during the season of Sept. 11, 2001, and the separation of ideas without compromise. “Understand, democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders argued. voters – the most loyal voting bloc in the Democratic Party, both statewide and nationally. Each candidate believed that he or she is the right person for the job. All five believe that changes are needed. “We must abandon business as usual and how we have done things in the past. We have to find a better way to do things and bring in new ideas,” said Carius.

Statewide strategy “Let’s build a 67-county strategy, including the 12 counties where no DEC currently exists,” Bullard advised. “In a swing state like Florida where margins are thin, it’s important to build a strategy to engage every Democrat in our state, not only Democrats who live in Florida’s bluest counties.” Commented Bittel, “The solution is having greater Black representation and it starts with candidate recruitment and training. The greatest energy amongst Black voter participation and registration in the history of the U.S. was the candidacy and election of Barack Obama.’ “We need to encourage Black political participation, get more Black candidates, and fight back against Republican voter suppression. We must train

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They quarreled. Eventually they compromised. They expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity – the idea that for all our outward differences, we’re all in this together; that we rise or fall as one,” he said. He described Sept. 11, 2001: “A shrinking world, growing inequality; demographic change and the specter of terrorism – these forces haven’t just tested our security and our prosperity, but are testing our democracy, as well. And how we meet these challenges to our democracy will determine our ability to educate our kids, and create good jobs, and protect our homeland. In other words, it will determine our future.”

grace and with grit and with style and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And the new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. So you have made me proud. And you have made the country proud,” he said to fervent applause. “Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women. You are smart and you are beautiful, but more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful and you are full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.”

Emotional about family

He concluded, “My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you…I do have one final ask of you as your president – the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago. I’m asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours. “I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: ‘Yes, we can.’”

First Lady Michelle Obama looked on from the audience with their older daughter, Malia, beside her. Sasha, the younger daughter, was home studying for a test, the White House reported. Obama’s most emotional moment appeared to be when he looked out into the audience and spoke of his family. It was a moment punctuated by applause just about every other sentence. “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, girl of the South Side for the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and you made it your own, with find and train the right candidates and make sure they have the right resources.” “The struggle is not over although many believe that it is. We have districts gerrymandered to have voter suppression. Our party doesn’t often stand up and fight in those districts. When we see discriminatory practices, we can’t let it go unchecked. We’ve missed opportunities in the past. We can’t have elections when people aren’t running against incumbent Republicans,” Clendenin explained. “Why aren’t we utilizing Black media all year? We can get our message out this way. We can be on Black radio and advertise in Black newspapers. We can be in Black media to talk about our officials and the issues. We don’t talk to people in the community like we are supposed to. We can’t just talk to them during election time.” Said King: “We will not win any election until we address the problem that voters don’t trust us. Voters don’t think that we care about them. Even in our own membership, people feel disconnected. I know that the African-American community feels that way. There are also other communities that feel that way. To confront the problem, we must acknowledge that we have one.”

One last request

Every vote counts In the November presidential race, Republican Trump beat Democrat Clinton by a margin of 49 percent to 47.8 percent, although Clinton only carried nine of Florida’s 67 counties. Obama won Florida by less than 1 percentage point in 2012, carrying 13 counties. “Florida has been won and lost by 1 percent of the vote,” King said. “The 2016 election was lost in rural and suburban counties, which need support outside of when statewide campaigns are active within their border.” “Every county, no matter how red or how small, has Democrats to be turned out.”

Bullard gets nod In the end, the DBCF recommended Bullard for the state chairmanship. “Based on the discussion of the DBCF executive committee, it was clear that Dwight Bullard has the clearest understanding of the need for grassroots organizing,” Crespo said in a press release this week. “And that is why is he received our recommendation.” The Florida Democratic Party reorganization and chairs elections will take place on Jan. 14 in Orlando.

Lloyd Dunkelberger of the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017



Jewish Community Centers receive bomb threats BY DAVID J. NEAL AND CARLI TEPROFF MIAMI HERALD/TNS

MIAMI – Hundreds of children, teachers and parents were evacuated Monday from two Jewish Community Centers (JCC) in Miami-Dade and across the Eastern U.S. and in England after a series of telephone bomb threats. In each case, no explosives were found. But the threats rattled nerves for several hours at the JCC campuses, including locations in Kendall and Miami Beach. According to news reports, similar threats were made Monday at JCCs in Orlando, Jacksonville, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, South Carolina and three in London.

Taken seriously In Florida, the threats began last week. The Tampa Bay Times reported the Tampa JCC closed early on Jan. 5 after phoned-in threats. On Jan. 4, two Jewish centers in Central Florida were evacuated after separate bomb threats. One of the centers includes a Holocaust museum. In the last week, there have been at least eight threats at Jewish institutions in Florida, said Hava Holzhauer, Florida regional

director of the Anti-Defamation League. “I don’t know the reason, but what it does is causes fear in the community,” Holzhauer said. “Regardless of how the threat comes in, it has to be checked out because we don’t know when it’s serious and not serious.”

Hundreds evacuated Holzhauer said it’s a struggle to find a balance between reacting to threats and scaring the community. She referenced the Jan. 6 shooting at Fort-Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport as never knowing when terror could strike. The ADL tracks all threats, Holzhauer said, because “every action begins with an idea.” Monday’s late-morning local threats, at the Dave and Mary Alper JCC in Kendall and the Miami Beach JCC, came via phone. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said it evacuated 450 kids and 70 people who work at the Alper Center. Miami-Dade police and Miami Beach police, respectively, swept each campus before giving the all clear. That came around 12:15 p.m. in Miami Beach, where a woman phoned in the threat and said the JCC on Pine Tree Drive needed to be cleared in an hour. Examining the much-larger Alper took until after 1 p.m.

Hurricane Matthew claims now over $800 million


The Miami Beach Jewish Community Center was one of the Florida centers that received threats in the past week.

Duval, Brevard, St. Johns and Flagler counties represented most of the claims.

More to come Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier told Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet last month that no private insurers – including those new to the market – were expected to struggle in paying claims. The insurance figures do not include $430.8 million in damages to government facilities and structures, including damage to a 1.3-mile section of Florida A1A in Flagler Beach that caused Scott to order expedited repairs. Matthew may also require about $130.3 million from the state, a figure that includes $77 million being sought from the Legislature in 2017 for beach, dune and park repairs from Duval through Indian River counties.


Insurance claims in Florida from early October’s Hurricane Matthew have grown to $803 million, according to the latest numbers from the state Office of Insurance Regulation. The total, tied to 115,560 individual claims made through Jan. 6, is up from $729 million in early December. The state agency reported 49 percent of the claims have resulted in payments and that 85 percent of the claims cases have been closed. Volusia,

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Residents check out a downed tree limb on in Maitland as winds from Hurricane Matthew passed through Central Florida on Oct. 7.

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JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017

Talladega College marching for Trump is good for HBCUs Editor’s note: Historically Black Talladega College, located in Talladega, Ala., is being criticized for allowing its marching band to participate in President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural parade set for Jan. 20. Many other college marching bands have refused to do so. A no-brainer. March and show out while you are doing it, Talladega College. I have read many opinions. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are struggling to survive. They are in strong need of government funds. All the HBCU presidents have been trying to get an audience with the president-elect to attempt to build a relationship that will lead to much-needed funds and survival. This is serious business.

Need the money As a graduate of Talladega College’s Class of 1982, I give money to TC and understand that HBCUs need not make things worse with the government. There are thousands of current and future students in need of grants, scholarships and tuition to attend


these colleges. This is bigger than me, you, and all the flamethrowers who are against TC marching. I hate many of Trump’s comments too. But the man could be in office eight years. During this period, he could do all he can to assure many HBCUs close and all state funds routed to White colleges. HBCUs are valuable educational institutions. These are not some entertainers or celebrity rich folk who can express their strong political views and go back to their millions. HBCUs are strongly dependent on government support. This is real. White colleges get government funds, too. We all are taxpayers.

Bigger than Trump Let all the other loudmouths be loud. March and respect the office of the president. Give a great

Barack Obama’s last presidential lies Barack Obama has spoken to the nation as president for the last time. Hallelujah! The man I dubbed the “more effective evil” now gets a chance to make millions for himself, after spending eight years defending the wealth of the bankers and the rest of the One Percent. Obama is going out like he came in: telling lies with great style and skill. So many lies.

Betrayed labor He said he favored giving unions “the power to organize for better wages.” He said the same thing when he was campaigning for his first term, promising to support the “card check” bill that would have allowed workers to rebuild their union membership. But he betrayed organized labor


and did nothing to push the bill in Congress. The outgoing president pointed out that “the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t just vanish in the Sixties” – that these effects continue to plague Black people. But 100 days after first taking the oath of office, Obama told reporters that he would not consider programs targeted at Black communities -- that Blacks would have to depend on a rising tide to lift all boats, even though no such tide has ever risen for Black peo-

command performance. This is bigger than Trump. What needs to be done is make the strong case for the importance of HBCUs. You can’t do that by not engaging. Are Black people going to avoid anything associated with Trump for eight years? That would be plain stupid. These are high-level negotiations. Should the Congressional Black Caucus never meet with Trump? Should the NAACP, SCLC, Urban League, etc. not engage Trump? We do things all the time that we don’t necessarily agree with. For example, we don’t always agree with our bosses or our company. But we do the job, pick up that check and look forward to the day you can change things. You cannot negotiate anything without participating in the meeting. I am no political poet not looking at the long view of the survival of these HBCUs. In short, organizations, companies and countries that depend heavily on federal and state support cannot afford to follow all political causes at their demise. If I told you that TC could literally end up closing because they ple in America. Obama said the U.S. has “led the world...on the promise to save the planet.” That’s an outrageous lie. The U.S., China and a few other powerful countries have been the problem, not the solution to climate change. Obama spent his first term sabotaging every effort to create mandatory limits on emissions.

Takes no responsibility The First Black President acknowledged that many Americans are “convinced that their government only serves the interests of the powerful.” But, he didn’t take any of the blame, even though it was under his administration that Wall Street bankers were deemed “too big to jail,” or even to indict. In the same dishonest fashion, Obama declared on Tuesday that “We need to uphold laws against discrimination...and in our criminal justice system” – when, on his watch, no federal charges

Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 291 Bro. Prez sez goodbye – No tears here. For Black America, the Obama era has been a keen disappointment full of lost opportunities, halfway measures, and professorial lectures. On “Black” issues – small biz entrepreneurship, HBCUs, disproportionate unemployment and foreclosures, mass incarceration, inner-city violence and poverty, police brutality – he fell way short, especially compared to his gay marriage “evolution” ending in a celebratory rainbow-lighted White House. Over four centuries, Black people NEVER quit advocating for our own interests. Malcolm X said we should have “no permanent friends; no permanent enemies; just permanent interests.” Disgracefully, The First Black Prez was given a pass by ALL the major civil rights organizations and the increasingly irrelevant Congressional Black Caucus in exchange for Oval Office meetings and White House parties featuring the Cupid Shuffle and the Wobble. Black activism went on an extended leave, ending when Trayvon Martin’s and Mike Brown’s deaths energized youthful nontraditional advocacy groups. Our family-owned media companies have “pleaded our own cause” for almost 40 years. We’ve



judged Obama the same way we judged Jimmy Carter and every presidential successor since 1978, when the Daytona Times was founded. Apart from “Obamacare,” Obama’s been no better for Black folks as compared to other presidents we’ve covered – and worse than some. That’s a tragedy, given the political, financial and spiritual investment Black America made in making Obama’s presidency possible. Why, if you criticize a Black politician, are you treated like a traitor to the race? The same people who loved me for harshly criticizing George W. Bush’s wars and his administration’s refusal to do business with Black businesses would crucify me for criticizing Obama’s drone wars – which have killed innocent U.S. citizens without due process – and his administration’s refusal to do business with Black businesses…



received no government dollars for eight years, would you seriously care if they marched in this parade that won’t even be thought about in four months? We’ve got to think bigger as a people.

Not HBCU fans I know you love HBCUs. I do, too. This is no time to follow the crowd and call for Talladega College to stay home and become a political football. It’s not like HBCUs have never functioned in an environment where the presidents and governors were big fans. Let’s not fool ourselves. were brought against any killer cops, except one who had already been indicted by local authorities. Obama got downright cocky in defense of Obamacare, the rightwing Republican health program that Obama adopted as his own. The president said: “If anybody can put together a plan that is demonstrably better, I will support it.” But don’t bet any money on the letter and spirit of Obama’s promises on health care. Back in 2003, when Bruce Dixon and I asked him if he favored a single payer health care system, Obama answered that he favored “universal health care for all Americans” and intended to introduce or sponsor legislation toward that end.”

Killed single payer He kept saying that for the next five years, until he was elected president, and then proceeded to isolate and crush supporters of single payer, to the delight of the

I wish for a Black, productive 2017 and beyond I wish most Black folks would join the One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors Movement as advocated by Professor James Clingman. Prof. Clingman, whose column “Blackonomic$” is a mustread for anyone who has a serious commitment to our people, says the movement “is for conscientiously conscious Black people who are not only aware but are willing to work on and contribute their skills, knowledge and treasure to solving our problems and bringing solutions to fruition.” Its website is

Remember Malcolm’s words I wish we as a people would act on the words of wisdom from Brother Malcolm X in which he said, “U.S. politics is ruled by special interest blocs and lobbies. What group has a more urgent special interest than the Black man?... Twenty-two million Black people should tomorrow give a dollar a piece to build a skyscraper lobby building in Washington, DC. Every morning every legislator should receive a communication about what the Black man in America expects, wants and needs. The demanding voice of the Black


lobby should be in the ears of every legislator who votes on any issue.” I wish our people would cease honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as some kind of otherworldly dreamer and act on his stated belief: “A second important step that the Negro must take is to work passionately for group identity. This does not mean group isolation or group exclusivity. There must always be healthy debate...this form of group unity can do infinitely more to liberate the Negro than any action of individuals. We have been oppressed as a group and we must overcome that oppression as a group.”

‘Pennies and dollars’ I wish we would listen to and act on a statement made by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in her last will and testament in which she wrote, “I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. This kind of confidence will aid the economic

Charles W. Cherry II, Esq., Publisher

Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.

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There are Republican governors throughout the country ready to cut HBCUs out of their budgets. All they need HBCUs to do is give them a reason by attempting to embarrass their president. This is not selling out. This is self-preservation. President Obama could have done more for HBCUs. If TC and HBCUs are to play politics, then play politics that favors them, not politics that’s against them. I am a proud graduate of TC and support them marching 100 percent.

Lee Pitts is host of the awardwinning TV talk show “Lee Pitts Live” on FOX 4 in Fort Myers. insurance and drug industries, which no longer had to fear single payer. Obama is sneaky that way. Finally, Obama bragged that the U.S. has “taken out thousands of terrorists, including bin Laden.” What he didn’t say was that his administration presided over the jihadist takeovers of Libya and much of Syria and Iraq. The truth is that tens of thousands of jihadists have been trained, armed, financed and protected by the United States and its allies – not under Bush, but under Obama, making him fully responsible for the deaths of half a million people in those three countries alone. Not to mention Obama’s other wars. But I’ve run out of time to write this column. The good thing is, so has Obama.

Glen Ford is executive editor of Email him at rise of the race by bringing together the pennies and dollars of our people and ploughing them into useful channels.” I wish we, as a people, would do something which I first advocated in a 1992 column in the Richmond Free Press, a Black newspaper. That was to pull together a conference in that would focus on our group and individual strengths. I noted that contrary to popular propaganda and beliefs, we have many such strengths.

We are strong Only a strong group of people could have survived the physical and psychological attacks that we have had to deal with in the United States of America. We need to identify, analyze and document our cultural, economic, political and educational strengths and build on them. Such a conference would truly be educational, productive and history-making. It’s time for us as a people not to watch what’s happening or wonder what’s happening but to make things happen for current and future generations.

A. Peter Bailey’s latest book is “Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher.” Contact him at

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JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017

Black lives matter more to White cops than Black thugs Arguably, the defining feature of Black America in recent years has been the eruption of street protests every time a cop killed a Black man. In each case, protesters vented existential angst with chants of “Black Lives Matter!” In fact, the spectre of White cops killing Black men now dominates national consciousness, so much so that no less a venue than the U. S. Capitol is featuring, as part of a Congressional art competition, a mural depicting cops as trigger-happy pigs. Truth be told, there have been far too many instances affirming this depiction. However, a mural depicting Black men as menacing, rabid dogs would represent a greater and more existential truth.

Strange mindset Perhaps more telling is how Black consciousness led Blacks to cheer Colin Kaepernick when he refused to stand for the National Anthem to protest police brutality. Kaepernick of course is the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers – whose teammates even awarded him their “most prestigious award … for inspirational and courageous play.” Yet, his play last year was anything but inspirational and courageous, as he led them through a feckless 2-14 season. (Incidentally, I refused to cheer as my column, “Delusional Kaepernick Standing Up by Sitting Down During National Anthem” of August 30, 2016, attests. I initially laid out my reasons for doing so in “Killing Michael Brown: as much about Resisting Arrest as Police Brutality,” on August 12, 2014, and reiterated those reasons in countless commentaries, including most recently in “Five Policemen Murdered: America Beware the Dallas Effect,” on July 8, 2016. Meanwhile, the proverbial elephant in the room is that Black men kill each other at 100 times the rate, to say nothing of the innocent Black children they often kill in their crossfire. 

Protecting a killer? Apropos of what menacing, rabid dogs they can be, there’s a manhunt underway as I write this for a Black thug who killed a Black female cop (and mother of two) in Orlando this week as she attempted to arrest him for allegedly murdering a pregnant woman a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, far too many


My forlorn hope is that

Telling old lies Given that neither the Minister nor the Nation are anti-Semitic, a man with principles and courage would have stood up on the truth, the track record and the history of the Minister and his followers. Over the past 40 years, the Nation and the Minister have not harmed nor prohibited any Jewish person from exercising their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It was not Muslims who chanted in the 1980s, “Who do you want? Farrakhan! How do you want him? Dead!” as the Jewish Defense Organization did. It was not the Nation of Islam nor the Minister who were involved in an alleged 1990s death plot featuring Jewish federal stooge Michael



is ironic, is that a movement with the goal of saving Black lives at this point is getting Black lives taken, because 80 percent of our murder victims here in Chicago are male Blacks,” McCarthy said. “Less than half of one percent of all the shootings in this city involve police officers shooting civilians.”

The truth

That “less than half of one percent of all the shootings” involves police officers cannot be overstated, especially when you consider will compel protests this: • Chicago marked 2016 as the against the unrelenting deadliest year in nearly two decades, data released by the Chicago Police Department shows. menace of Blacks • The city saw a surge in gun violence in 2016: 762 murders, killing Blacks – 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims, according complete with far to a statement released by the department this week. • There were 480 murders in greater urgency and 2015, the most in the city since 1997. outrage than those It’s one thing to explain or rationalize crime data. It’s quite we’ve seen against the another to sound alarms in real time about factors that make up that data. But I’ve been sounding incidental spectre of alarms for years – not only about too many Black men triggering cops killing Blacks. their own deaths by resisting arrest, but also about Black thugs Blacks refuse to see this proverbi- being a far greater threat to Black al elephant. This prevailing refusal lives than White cops. supports my contention that Black lives matter more to White cops I’ve said it before than Black thugs. And those who Here are excerpts from just two protest the killing of one Black by a of my commentaries: White cop – while countenancing From “Why Chastise the Times the killing of 100 Blacks by Black for Describing Michael Brown as thugs – only reinforce it.  ‘No Angel’…?” August 26, 2014: Don’t get me started on Blacks “None  of national leaders eulowho are reportedly aiding and gizing Michael bothered to reinabetting that Black fugitive in Or- force the most salient lesson  evlando referenced above. eryone, especially young Black men, should learn from his death. A question That lesson is that distrust of the What do these protesters have police, no matter how warranted, to show for their protests? Alas, does not give anyone the right to the short and all-too-predictable resist arrest  or engage in visceral answer is: the killing of an alarm- confrontations with the police… “I fear the lesson too maing number of Black men by Black ny Black men are learning from men, with relative impunity. Here is how former Chica- this tragedy is that they can rego Police Superintendent  Garry sist arrest, so long as they shout McCarthy  called out Black Lives the  new-fangled slogan, ‘Hands Matter protesters recently. Dur- up, don’t shoot’ while doing so. ing a radio interview with John Clearly, this will only lead to more Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New of them ending up like Michael.” From “Tyshawn Lee: Excuse York, McCarthy blamed protests against police brutality in cities Me, Which Black Lives Matter?” like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., November 5, 2015: “God help the and Charlotte, N.C., for creating a city where  residents fear gang “political atmosphere of anti-po- members more than they trust police officers. But given the lice sentiment. “So what’s happening, and this scourge of Black-on-Black crime,

Black consciousness

Ellison tries to pass Democratic ‘Farrakhan’ test Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison is seeking to lead the Democratic National Committee as the party seeks someone to bring Democrats into the political “Promised Land.” There is nothing wrong with Rep. Ellison’s desire to move his party forward or his desire to help make America progress. But he must be condemned and lambasted for trying to make his political bones by smearing the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The Minnesota congressman has been attacked for a connection with the Nation of Islam years ago, while in college and for support of the Million Man March. The Anti-Defamation League and others have branded Rep. Ellison as unfit for office, saying he is tainted by the anti-Semitism of Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.



How can Rep. Ellison speak of justice for the poor, a just U.S. foreign policy, social change that improves the lives of people and respect for all, and denigrate a man who has worked to achieve those goals for longer than the congressman has been alive? Fitzpatrick. Mr. Fitzpatrick seized on the pain and vulnerability of Quibilah Shabazz, a daughter of Malcolm X, and federal authorities charged her with planning the murder of the Minister. It was the Minister whose blast of truth shook the feds


the irony is that Blacks predominate in areas of far too many cities where this is the case. This brings me to the unwitting spectre of the ‘Ferguson effect.’ “Chuck Rosenberg, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, said Wednesday that he agrees with FBI Director James Comey that  police officers are reluctant to aggressively enforce laws in the post-Ferguson era of capturing police activity on smartphones and YouTube…The comments offer more support for the theory that, faced with increased scrutiny, the nation’s police officers are pulling back.” “Unfortunately,  Black activists and pundits have spent more time this week splitting hairs about the Ferguson effect than condemning the increasing lawlessness that led to Tyshawn’s death. “Never mind that nothing demonstrated  the deadly impact of the Ferguson effect quite like police officers being reluctant to intervene as (Black) rioters looted, pillaged, and burned their own areas of  Baltimore  earlier this year. To say nothing of the fact that no less a paper of record than the New York Times affirmed this effect in a June 15, 2015, report headlined, ‘West Baltimore’s Police Presence Drops, and Murder Soars,’ (the Baltimore effect?)…” “The obvious and understandable truth [is] that police officers (White and Black) have always been reluctant to police highcrime areas, like the South Side of Chicago. Only this explains the despairing resonance of Spike Lee’s forthcoming movie,  ‘Chiraq,’ about violence so wanton and unchecked in Black areas of Chicago, residents might as well be living in Iraq.”

though, is that police officers fear vigilant(e) public scrutiny that could end their careers (a la Darren Wilson) more than gangland violence that could end their lives. Such is the seemingly inexorable and irreconcilable breakdown in trust  between  those who wear  blue  and those who are Black in America today. Alas, nothing explains why the killing fields of Black America will remain fertile for years to come quite like Chicago’s current police superintendent echoing his predecessor’s dire lament.

as he declared the FBI has never who support Minister Farrakhan been his friend. (which includes Cornel West, Jesse Jackson, Ben Chavis, Dorothy Height and many others) and urge Charges dropped The Minister declared he want- their leadership to engage in the ed nothing to happen to Malcolm dialogue proposed at the Million X widow Dr. Betty Shabazz, or her Man March. “The White community, howdaughters and pulled the covers off of an old enemy while seeking ever, must come to the realization that there are too many Black peoreconciliation. His stand was so incredible ple who have been cleaned-up, the feds essentially dropped the taught and uplifted by Minister charges against Qubilah Shaba- Farrakhan for us to let anyone grazz and a rapprochement between tuitously insult him anymore.” That’s powerful language and the Nation and Dr. Shabazz starta powerful argument penned by ed. She was featured as one of the speakers of the 1995 Million Man one Keith X Ellison. Yes. That’s the March. The prosecutors in this fi- same Rep. Keith Ellison who repasco, by the way, were located in resents the Fifth Congressional Rep. Ellison’s home state of Min- District in Minnesota and seeks to chair the Democratic Nationnesota. Mr. Ellison, who was captured in al Committee. He was also once at least one photo distributing The known as Keith Ellison-MuhamFinal Call newspaper while in col- mad. lege, condemned the Minister as God will judge he sought his new place. If Mr. Ellison once believed But his cowardly and baseless repudiation is nothing new. While those things about the Minisrunning for Congress a decade ter and changed his mind, that’s ago, his “I’m not with Farrakhan his business. We will leave Allah and he’s a hater” narrative started. (God) to judge and handle the hypocrites. But what cannot be tolerated ‘No anti-Semite’ are the lies, the slander and false But let’s go back and examine words published in the Nov. narrative against Min. Farrakhan. 6, 1995 edition of Insight News, These lies cannot be proven; nor a Black weekly in Minneapolis: can these false charges be sus“Third, Minister Farrakhan is a tained. The Minister has been a strong role model for Black youth; howvoice for Black self-determination, ever, he is not an anti-Semite. He is a sincere, tireless and uncompro- a warrior against Jewish paternalmising advocate of the Black com- ism and control of Black people, munity and other oppressed peo- and a sledgehammer against the ples in America and around the wall of White supremacy and neoworld. Despite some of the most colonialism. None of that work relentless negative propaganda would make him the favorite of a anyone has ever faced, most Black system or wicked people whose people regard him as a role model demonic rule he is working to defor youth and increasingly, a cen- stroy. tral voice for our collective aspiraI know him tions. But Mr. Ellison knows better. “I am sensitive to members of the Jewish community who have Years ago, sitting in my Chicago ofbeen lead to believe that Minister fice here at The Final Call, when Farrakhan is anti-Jewish. I believe I was managing editor, there was they should do two things: engage no question about Min. Farrakhan in a dialogue with Black people and who he was.

There was no question when Mr. Ellison, aka Keith X Ellison, aka Keith Ellison-Muhammad, came to Chicago for an urban peace summit in October 1993 that featured Min. Farrakhan, or a vital summit in Kansas City that included Min. Farrakhan as the major speaker and one who helped legitimize the anti-violence movement in April 1993. The problem comes from a simple place: “All of you that want national and state prominence: Sometimes I am the ‘litmus test’ to see if White folk can do anything good for you. And some of you are so weak and so cowardly, that your desires mean more than the integrity of your being. But every time I forgave my brothers, and kept moving forward,” observed Min. Farrakhan in a message delivered Oct. 30, 2016.

Gangs emboldened Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Associated Press recently that “officers have become more careful, partly because they’re concerned about viral videos [which could cause them to] lose their job…” The anti-police rhetoric in Chicago and across the country “has emboldened and actually empowered these gang members to do what they do.” Gang members may believe community residents will take their side instead of the police’s, he added. This is why my forlorn hope is that Black consciousness will compel protests against the unrelenting menace of Blacks killing Blacks – complete with far greater urgency and outrage than those we’ve seen against the incidental spectre of cops killing Blacks.

Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian native  with an international law practice  in Washington, D.C. Read his columns and daiAfraid of scrutiny ly weblog  at www.theipinionsThe more  troubling irony,

Confront hypocrisy The Minister’s forgiveness and willingness to suffer insults apparently has led some to think that there is no end to his patience and smearing him is acceptable – just come back and apologize in the dark later. No. This man’s life’s work, his status as a vibrant elder and indispensable leader in our community cannot and must not allow that. Mr. Ellison and those who would misuse the Minister’s name for their personal advancement must be confronted and their hypocrisy and cowardice must be condemned. How can Rep. Ellison speak of justice for the poor, a just U.S. foreign policy, social change that improves the lives of people and respect for all, and denigrate a man who has worked to achieve those goals for longer than the congressman has been alive?

Richard B. Muhammad is editor of the award-winning Final Call Newspaper, the only nationally distributed Blackowned newspaper.



JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017

‘This country belongs to you, all of you’ First lady addresses Muslims, immigrants during last speech BY VERA BERGENGRUEN TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON – In her final speech as first lady, Michelle Obama singled out young immigrants and Muslims, many of whom express apprehension about President-elect Donald Trump. “Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story — because you do,” she said in a Jan. 6 speech. “Know that this country belongs to you, to all of you. “From every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition … that has made us the greatest country on Earth.” Religious diversity is “not a threat to who we are,” she said, “it makes us who we are.”

Emotional speech On the campaign trail, Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and spoke about requiring them to register. “Whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh … I want our young people to continue to learn and practice those values with pride,” the first lady said. Obama became visibly emotional as she also encouraged young people to use their education to move the country forward. “Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered,” she said, her voice breaking. “Lead by example with hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.”


Michele Obama becomes emotional after delivering her final speech during an event honoring the 2017 School Counselor of the Year at the White House on Jan. 6.

Counselors honored Obama made her remarks at a White House event honoring the 2017 school counselor of the year. She started the tradition of honoring the school counselor of the year in 2015, as part of her Reach Higher initiative, which encourages post-secondary education. She has said she will continue working on education issues after she leaves the White House. The 2017 winner, Terri Tchorzynski, from Battle Creek, Mich., introduced the first la-

dy as “our school counselor in chief.”

‘Greatest honor’ Obama touted the administration’s work in education, saying that it had made the largest investment in higher education since the GI Bill. She also highlighted advances in making college affordable, funding for school counselors and rising high school graduation rates. Obama thanked educators for their work supporting young people across the country. “No matter where they’re

from, no matter how much money their parents have, no matter what they look like, or who they love or how they worship, or what language they speak at home, they have a place in this country,” she said. “Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life. And I hope I’ve made you proud,” she said in closing, receiving a standing ovation from an audience that included Education Secretary John King, his predecessor Arne Duncan, actress Connie Britton, TV host Andy Cohen and music artists Usher and Kelly Rowland.

Andrew Young’s daughter named Georgia ACLU director ATLANTA – Civil rights activist and Georgia native Andrea Young is the new executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, taking the helm of the statewide affiliate of the ACLU as of Jan. 1. “As a lifelong civil rights activist and proud Georgia native, I am deeply honored to lead the ACLU of Georgia at this important time,” said Young. “From protecting the right to vote and women’s reproductive freedom to defending Andrea the rights of LGYoung BT Georgians and standing with our immigrant neighbors, the work of the ACLU is more important than ever before.” Young is an attorney, activist and author who has devoted her career to defending and extending civil and human rights. Most recently an adjunct professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, Young served for many years as the executive director of the Andrew J. Young Foundation where she worked to preserve and advance the legacy of her father – a former Atlanta mayor, civil rights leader, U.S. congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Young also has worked as a legislative assistant to Sen. Edward Kennedy and as chief of staff for the first woman to represent Georgia in Congress, Rep. Cynthia McKinney. She holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center and Swarthmore College.



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Show zooms in on successful, angry Black man See page B5

JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017



A golden moment for Tracee Ellis Ross See page B5






“And so we still have a long, long way to go before we reach the promised land of freedom.’’


Editor’s note: The question Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. posed decades ago still resonates in 2015. Here is an edited excerpt of the annual report he delivered at the 11th convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on Aug. 16, 1967 in Atlanta. In spite of a decade of significant progress, the Negro still lives in the basement of the Great Society. He is still at the bottom, despite the few who have penetrated to slightly higher levels. Even where the door has been forced partially open, mobility for the Negro is still sharply restricted. There is often no bottom at which to start, and when there is there’s almost no room at the top. In consequence, Negroes are still impoverished aliens in an affluent society. They are too poor even to rise with the society, too impoverished by the ages to be able to ascend by using their own resources.

Left behind And the Negro did not do this himself; it was done to him. For more than half of his American history, he was enslaved. Yet, he built the spanning bridges and the grand mansions, the sturdy docks and stout factories of the South. His unpaid labor made cotton “King” and established America as a significant nation in international commerce. Even after his release from chattel slavery, the nation grew over him, submerging him. It became the richest, most powerful society in the history of man, but it left the Negro far behind. And so we still have a long, long way to go before we reach the promised land of freedom. Yes, we have left the dusty soils of Egypt, and we have crossed a Red Sea that had for years been hardened by a long and piercing winter of massive resistance, but before we reach the majestic shores of the promised land, there will still be gigantic mountains of opposition ahead and prodigious hilltops of injustice. We still need some Paul Revere of conscience to alert every hamlet and every village of America that revolution is still at hand. We need some North Star to guide us into a future shrouded with impenetrable uncertainties. In order to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?,” we must first honestly recognize where we are now.


Protesters chant “Black Lives Matter” as they march throughout the city of Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 23, 2016. The demonstrations were sparked after the shooting death of Keith Scott by police earlier in the week. Yes, yes, we must stand up and say, “I’m Black but I’m Black and beautiful.” This self-affirmation is the Black man’s need, made compelling by the White man’s crimes against him.

Economics, politics

Not a whole person When the Constitution was written, a strange formula to determine taxes and representation declared that the Negro was sixty percent of a person. Today another curious formula seems to declare he is fifty percent of a person. Of the good things in life, the Negro has approximately one half those of Whites. Of the bad things of life, he has twice those of Whites. Thus, half of all Negroes live in substandard housing. And Negroes have half the income of Whites. When we turn to the negative experiences of life, the Negro has a double share: There are twice as many unemployed; the rate of infant mortality among Negroes is double that of Whites; and there are twice as many Negroes dying in Vietnam as Whites in proportion to their size in the population. In other spheres, the figures are equally alarming. In elementary schools, Negroes lag one to three years behind Whites, and their segregated schools receive substantially less money per student than the White schools. One-twentieth as many Negroes as Whites attend college. Of employed Negroes, seventy-five percent hold menial jobs.


A large crowd pays respects at a candlelight vigil at Dallas City Hall Plaza on July 11, 2016 after the shooting deaths of five officers.

‘Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream….’ What should we do? First, we must massively assert our dignity and worth. We must no longer be ashamed of being Black. The job of arousing manhood within a people that have been taught for so many centuries that they are nobody is not easy. In Roget’s Thesaurus there are some 120 synonyms for blackness and at least sixty of them are offensive, such words as blot, soot, grim, devil, and foul. And there are some 134 synonyms for whiteness and all are favorable, expressed in such words as purity, cleanliness, chastity, and innocence. A white lie is better than a black lie. The most de-

generate member of a family is the “black sheep.” Ossie Davis has suggested that maybe the English language should be reconstructed so that teachers will not be forced to teach the Negro child sixty ways to despise himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of inferiority, and the White child 134 ways to adore himself, and thereby perpetuate his false sense of superiority.

Free your mind As long as the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against

the long night of physical slavery. No Lincolnian Emancipation Proclamation, no Johnsonian civil rights bill can totally bring this kind of freedom. And with a spirit straining toward true self-esteem, the Negro must boldly throw off the manacles of self-abnegation and say to himself and to the world, “I am somebody. I am a person. I am a man with dignity and honor. I have a rich and noble history, however painful and exploited that history has been. Yes, I was a slave through my foreparents and now I’m not ashamed of that. I’m ashamed of the people who were so sinful to make me a slave.”

Now another basic challenge is to discover how to organize our strength in to economic and political power. The plantation and the ghetto were created by those who had power, both to confine those who had no power and to perpetuate their powerlessness. Now the problem of transforming the ghetto, therefore, is a problem of power, a confrontation between the forces of power demanding change and the forces of power dedicated to the preserving of the status quo. Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political, and economic change…Now a lot of us are preachers, and all of us have our moral convictions and concerns, and so often we have problems with power. But there is nothing wrong with power if power is used correctly.

‘Anemic’ love What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. Now what has happened is that we’ve had it wrong and mixed up in our country, and this has led Negro Americans in the past to seek their goals through love and moral suasion devoid of power, and White Americans to seek their goals through power devoid of love and conscience. It is leading a few extremists today to advocate for Negroes the same destructive See MLK, Page B2



JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017



Tickets are on sale for a Valentine’s Music Festival on Feb. 10 at the James. L. Knight Center in Miami. Performers: Avant, Bobby Brown, El Debarge and Keith Sweat.

Orlando: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church will present a Jan. 15 interfaith panel discussion on how communities can work together. It’s 6 p.m. at the church, 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road. RSVP at or all 407-876-4991.


The Zora Neale Hurston Festival is Jan. 20-29 in Central Florida. A highlight will be a Communities Conference at Rollins College. Presenters include Charles Blow of the New York Times. Schedule:

Miami: The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave., is presenting “Venus,’’ a play about Saartjie Baartman through Feb. 5. Tampa: Katt Williams takes the stage at the USF Sun Dome on Feb. 4 for an 8 p.m. show. St. Petersburg: Smokey Robinson performs Feb. 9 at The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Jupiter: A Seminole Maroon Spiritual Remembrance starts Jan. 15 to mark the 179th anniversary of 1838 Battles of the Loxahatchee River in northern Palm Beach County. It’s at Loxahatchee Battlefield Park, 9060 W. Indiantown Road. Details: www.


The Tampa Black Heritage Festival & Music Fest is scheduled through Jan. 22. Jazz Under the Stars is Jan. 13 at 5508 N. 50th St. Performers: include Cleo Heart and the Maurice Allen Band. More info:


from Page 1 and conscienceless power that they have justly abhorred in Whites. It is precisely this collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our times.

Employment or income Now we must develop a program that will drive the nation to a guaranteed annual income. We realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed, I hope, from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. Our emphasis must be twofold: We must create full employment, or we must create incomes. People must be made consumers by one method or the other. Once they are placed in this position, we need to be concerned that the potential of the individual is not wasted. New forms of work that enhance the social good will have to be devised for those for whom traditional jobs are not available. Work of this sort could be enormously increased, and we are likely to find that the problem of housing, education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished. The poor, transformed into purchasers, will do a great deal on their own to alter housing decay. Negroes, who have a double disability, will have a greater effect on discrimination when they have the additional weapon of cash to use in their struggle. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement. Personal conflicts between husband, wife, and children will diminish when the unjust measurement of human worth on a scale of dollars is eliminated.

Stay committed to nonviolence We must reaffirm our commitment to nonviolence. One sees screaming youngsters and angry adults fighting hopelessly and aimlessly against impossible odds. And deep down within them, you perceive a desire for self-destruction, a kind of suicidal longing.

Occasionally, Negroes contend that the 1965 Watts riot and the other riots in various cities represented effective civil rights action. At best, the riots have produced a little additional anti-poverty money allotted by frightened government officials and a few water sprinklers to cool the children of the ghettos. It is something like improving the food in the prison while the people remain securely incarcerated behind bars. Nowhere have the riots won any concrete improvement such as have the organized protest demonstrations. And when one tries to pin down advocates of violence as to what acts would be effective, the answers are blatantly illogical. Sometimes they talk of overthrowing racist state and local governments and they talk about guerrilla warfare. They fail to see that no internal revolution has ever succeeded in overthrowing a government by violence unless the government had already lost the allegiance and effective control of its armed forces.

Violent U.S. revolution impossible Anyone in his right mind knows that this will not happen in the United States. In a violent racial situation, the power structure has the local police, the state troopers, the National Guard, and finally, the Army to call on, all of which are predominantly White. Furthermore, few, if any, violent revolutions have been successful unless the violent minority had the sympathy and support of the non-resisting majority. It is perfectly clear that a violent revolution on the part of American Blacks would find no sympathy and support from the White population and very little from the majority of the Negroes themselves.

Change the structure We must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. We must ask the question, “Why are there forty million poor people in America?” You are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You begin to ask the question(s), “Who owns the oil?” Who owns the iron ore? Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that’s twothirds water?” When I say questioning the whole society, it means

Coral Gables: A free Dr. Martin

ultimately coming to see that the problem(s) of racism, of economic exploitation, and of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.

‘Born again’ One night, (someone) came to Jesus and he wanted to know what he could do to be saved. Jesus didn’t say, “Now Nicodemus, you must stop lying. You must not commit adultery. You must stop cheating if you are doing that.” Jesus realized something basic – that if a man will lie, he will steal. And if a man will steal, he will kill. So instead of just getting bogged down on one thing, Jesus looked at him and said, “Nicodemus, you must be born again.” In other words, “Your whole structure must be changed.” A nation that will keep people in slavery for 244 years will “thingify” them and make them things. And therefore, they will exploit them and poor people generally economically. And a nation that will exploit economically will have to have foreign investments and everything else, and it will have to use its military might to protect them. All of these problems are tied together. What I’m saying today is that we must go from this convention and say, “America, you must be born again!”


Luther King Jr. Tribute featuring the music of Oscar Peterson with the Zach Bartholomew Trio is 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ, 3010 De Soto Blvd. No tickets needed.

Miami Gardens: Jazz in the Gardens takes place March 18 and 19 at Hard Rock Stadium. Performers will include Jill Scott, Robin Thicke, LL Cool J and Common. Full lineup:

Miami: The Miami Festival of Laughs is Jan. 14 at the James L. Knight Center. The 8 p.m. show will feature Michael Blackson, Benji Brown, Arnez J, Mike Epps, Jay Pharoah and Felipe Esparza. Daytona Beach: The F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival continues at 9:45 a.m. Jan. 13 at the Midtown Cultural and Education Center, 925 George W. Engram Blvd. Tickets: $3. Authors include Harold Michael Harvey, Brenda Jackson and Booker T. Mattison. More information: 386-627-4353.

St. Augustine: Tickets are on sale for a March 9 concert featuring Earth, Wind & Fire at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.

Pembroke Pines: Kool and the Gang will perform March 10 at the Pembroke Pines City Center. Jacksonville: See the Xtreme Motorcycles and other acts in the UniverSoul Circus on Jan. 26 through Feb. 2 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center Arena. Tampa: The Tampa Bay Soul Fest featuring Brian McKnight, Johnny Gill and Al B. Sure is Jan. 15 at the USF Sun Dome.

ters, and righteousness like a mighty stream; until that day when the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid, and men will recognize that out of one blood, God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout, “White Power!” when nobody will shout, “Black Power!” but everybody will talk about God’s power and human power.

‘Walk on’ The road ahead will not always be smooth. There

will still be rocky places of frustration and meandering points of bewilderment. And there will be those moments when the buoyancy of hope will be transformed into the fatigue of despair. Our dreams will sometimes be shattered and our ethereal hopes blasted. We may again, with tear-drenched eyes, have to stand before the bier of some courageous civil rights worker whose life will be snuffed out by the dastardly acts of bloodthirsty mobs. But difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future. When our days become

Clearwater: Catch Gladys Knight on Jan. 20 at Ruth Eckerd Hall and Jan. 27 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. Miami Gardens: Obamacare Awareness workshops and enrollment will be held every Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Center, 3000 NW 199th St. Licensed agents will be on site. Winter Park: “Shuffle Along,’’ a musical theater revue and dance showcase celebrating AfricanAmericans’ contributions to the stage, is 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Center for Contemporary Dance, 3580 Aloma Ave. Tickets: $12 in advance; $15 at the door. More information:

dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way, and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. This is our hope for the future, and with this faith we will be able to sing in some not too distant tomorrow, with a cosmic past tense, “We have overcome! We have overcome! Deep in my heart, I did believe we would overcome.”

‘Be dissatisfied’ Let us go out with a divine dissatisfaction until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds; until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice; until those who live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history and every family will live in a decent, sanitary home; until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality integrated education; until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity. Let us be dissatisfied until men and women, however Black they may be, will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not on the basis of the color of their skin; until every state capitol will be housed by a governor who will do justly, who will love mercy, and who will walk humbly with his God. Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like wa-




JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017



“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’ Here is the entire text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, 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 their captivity. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is 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 languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

America’s promissory note In a sense, we've 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, – yes, Black men as well as White men – would be guaranteed the "unalienable 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 – a 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. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give FILE PHOTO us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of jus- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. waves to the massive crowd on Aug. 28, 1963, at the March on Washington. There, he delivered his fatice.

mous " I Have A Dream'' speech.

Now is the time 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 make real the promises of democracy. 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 lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. 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. And 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. And 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.

No bitterness 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 a 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 they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always 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 the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. 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 our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot 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."

Go back 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 jail cells. And 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 South Carolina, 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. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, 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 selfevident, 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 the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little 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, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification” – one day right there in Alabama, little Black boys and Black girls will be able to join hands with little White boys and White girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and 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, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. 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. And this will be the day – this

will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with 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. And 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 snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes 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 molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to 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!

Source: mlkihaveadream.htm



JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017


A LIFE REMEMBERED Celebrating the legacy of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.



he Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his mark on history during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Motivated by his faith, King fought against the oppression of his fellow African-Americans by protesting segregation. His efforts to combat the injustices were met with hostility and hatred, and eventually led to his early death. But King’s drive to achieve harmony among the races led to the desegregation of the country and set America on the path toward racial equality.


Coretta Scott King, pictured here in 2003.

History of the day In 1986, nearly 18 years after his assassination, Americans celebrated the first Martin Luther King Day, a holiday established to pay homage to the preacher and inspirational leader. By this time, 17 states already had established holidays to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Coretta Scott King, his widow, worked hard to make the national holiday a reality. In 2003, the theme of Martin Luther King Day became, “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A day on, not a day off.” Although some professionals and students see the third Monday in January as a day off from work or school, others see it as an opportunity to volunteer their time. By working to improve their communities and help those in need, these Americans are acting on behalf of King’s generous spirit.

Famous quotes

Through his eloquent speeches, sermons and writings, Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a nation. Here are a few of his most memorable and moving quotations: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963 “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.’” — King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Aug. 28, 1963 “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” — King’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Dec. 10, 1964 “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.” — King’s “I’ve Been to The Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968

Remember! Celebrate! Act! To truly celebrate Martin Luther King Day and honor its “Day of Service” theme, Americans can work to improve the lives of those in need or help out in their communities. Here are some ways to celebrate the day through community service: • Bring meals to homebound neighbors • Shovel elderly neighbors’ walkways • Serve meals at a homeless shelter To find a specific volunteer opportunity near you, go to and click “Search for MLK Day Project.”

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DR. KING? How well do you know Martin Luther King Jr.? Test your knowledge about the civil rights leader whose legacy is celebrated every year. 1. How many children did King have? A. 1 B. 3 C. 4 D. 5 TONY SPINA/DETROIT FREE PRESS

2. How old was King when he was assassinated? A. 35 B. 39 C. 42 D. 50 3. King gave his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech Aug. 28, 1963, in front of what landmark in Washington, D.C.? A. The Washington Monument B. The White House C. The Jefferson Memorial D. The Lincoln Memorial

On June 23, 1963, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. led more than 125,000 people on the “Walk to Freedom” down Woodward Avenue in Detroit. 4. King was named president of what influential civil rights group in 1957? A. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee B. Southern Christian Leadership Conference C. Congress of Racial Equality D. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

5. Which president signed the bill establishing the third Monday of every January as the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday? A. Ronald Reagan B. Lyndon B. Johnson C. John F. Kennedy D. George H.W. Bush Answers: 1-C; 2-B; 3-D; 4-B; 5-A.

Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the audience at the official ceremony of the MLK memorial at the the National Mall in Washington in October 2011.

BOOKS ABOUT THE CIVIL RIGHTS ICON Below are some resources for kids and teens who want to learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. Good reads for kids • “A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by David A. Adler and illustrated by Robert Casilla (Holiday House, $6.95) • “Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.” by Jean Marzollo (Scholastic Paperbacks, $5.99) • “My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” by Christine King Farris (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, $17.95)


“My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

• “Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Doreen Rappaport (Jump At The Sun, $6.99)

Good reads for teens • “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and edited by Clayborne Carson (Grand Central Publishing, $15.95) • “A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and edited by Peter Holloran and Clayborne Carson (Grand Central Publishing, $20) • “A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard (Grand Central Publishing, $14.95)


Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life and career to protesting injustice. The following timeline identifies the times and places in King’s short life where he significantly influenced the civil rights movement and the future of America. • Jan. 15, 1929: Martin Luther King Jr. was born to the Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King Sr. in Atlanta, Ga. • 1947: King became licensed to preach. • June 18, 1953: King married Coretta Scott in Marion, Ala. Coretta Scott King continued her husband’s legacy as a civil rights activist until her death on Jan. 30, 2006. • June 5, 1955: King received a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Boston University. • Feb. 21, 1956: King and other demonstrators were arrested for participating in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In December of that same year, the federal government ordered Montgomery buses to integrate. • Feb. 18, 1957: Martin Luther King Jr. appeared on the cover of Time magazine. • February 1959: King and his wife spent a month in India studying Mahatma Gandhi’s technique of nonviolence. King was an avid fan of nonviolence, a strategy where demonstrators, instead of using violence, protest peacefully. • Oct. 19, 1960: King was arrested for trespassing while taking part in a sit-in demonstration at a lunch counter in Atlanta, Ga. Sit-ins were nonviolent anti-segregation protests where Black demonstrators refused to leave restaurants and public places that were designated as White-only. • Dec. 16, 1961: While protesting segregation in Albany, Ga., King was arrested. • July 27, 1962: King was again arrested in Albany, Ga., after taking part in a prayer vigil. He was charged with failure to obey a police officer, obstructing the sidewalk and disorderly conduct. • April 16, 1963: After being arrested in Birmingham, Ala., for participating in a sit-in, King wrote “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” The letter is now one of King’s most famous statements about injustice. • Aug. 28, 1963: King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech in front of the thousands who gathered for The March on Washington. Afterward, he and other Civil Rights leaders met with President John F. Kennedy in the White House. • Dec. 10, 1964: King received the Nobel Peace Prize. • Aug. 5, 1966: King was stoned in Chicago as he led a march through crowds of angry Whites. • April 4, 1968: King was shot while on the balcony of his second-floor motel room in Memphis, Tenn. He later died from a gunshot wound to the neck. A day earlier, King gave his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top.” • March 9, 1969: James Earl Ray plead guilty to killing King and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. • Jan. 20, 1986: The first national King holiday was observed.


JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017


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Barry Jenkins won the Golden Globe Awards’ best director for “Moonlight” on Jan. 8. The movie also won the award in the category for best picture, drama. The film chronicles the life of a young Black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Tracee Ellis Ross, shown at the Golden Globe Awards show in Beverly Hills, Calif., won the award for Best Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical. The win made her the first Black woman to win in the category since Debbie Allen won it in 1983. Ross portrays Dr. Rainbow Johnson in the ABC comedy “Black-ish.’’



a White house you think I don’t live in a Black man’s world,” Brown’s Randall says to his father, William (played by Ron Cephas Jones), while they shop in a high-end clothes store. “The one where that salesman there has been eyeballing us ever since we came in here. Or where that security guard has moved just a little off his mark so he can keep us in his sight. And where they’ll definitely ask for an ID with my credit card when I go to pay, even though they haven’t asked for anybody else’s. Plus a million things every day that I have to choose to let go. Just so I’m not pissed off all the time.”

A time bomb


Susan Kelechi Watson (Beth) is married to Sterling K. Brown (Randall) on NBC’s show hit show “This is Us.”

TV finally shows us daily trials of successful Black man BY MARC BERNARDIN LOS ANGELES TIMES TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

When Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, the responses — especially from those who voted for Hillary Clinton, double-especially from those white men who voted Democrat — ran the gamut, from shock to awe to fear before landing on anger. They began railing about injustice to anyone who would listen. “How could this happen? How could forces unseen (to them) and unfelt (again, to them) result in such catastrophe?” Occasionally, those flummoxed white men would turn to a black friend and say, “Do you believe this?”

At which point the black friend, if they were feeling particularly honest, would say, “Welcome.”

never been fully painted on American TV until Sterling K. Brown’s Randall Pearson on NBC’s “This Is Us.”

Simmering rage

Successful and angry

Welcome to the nebulous emotional state that is simultaneously helpless and furious. Welcome to feeling the vast sociopolitical forces arrayed against you while still possessing the desire to just make it through the day. That world-weariness was the source of a skit from the first post-election episode of “Saturday Night Live,” in which host Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock were tickled by the white outrage at Trump’s victory. But that simmering rage, too long the ache from shouldering the tonnage of the Black experience, has

Randall, abandoned by his father at a firehouse, is adopted by a White couple after one of their triplets doesn’t survive childbirth. He grows up to become an upwardly mobile Black man working and living in the kind of New York suburb where you imagine all the houses have manicured vines growing on them. He’s got a Black wife and Black children and he wears a suit to work and has a corner office where he trades on the futures market. In those ways he is no

different from other Black professionals we’ve seen on screen since “The Cosby Show” debuted in 1984. He’s Blair Underwood’s Jonathan Rollins from “L.A. Law” in 1987. He’s James Avery’s Uncle Phil from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Except Randall is angry. Foundationally angry. Angry at the hundreds of micro-aggressions a successful Black man navigating a predominantly White world has to absorb on a daily basis.

‘Black man’s world’ For the first time, on TV, we are registering the weight of that anger. Because Brown, with wounded righteousness, shows it to us. “Because I grew up in

Unlike Sherman Hemsley’s George Jefferson, whose righteous fury was played for laughs; or every “angry Black man” who pops up in a doctor-lawyer-cop drama simply to be the thing that needs fixing by the episode’s end; or even Laurence Fishburne’s well-meaning, often-drunk grandfather on “black-ish,” who registers the scars of a life whose edges weren’t defined by him — Randall is a time bomb who regularly resets himself by swallowing his rage. That he doesn’t explode is an everyday miracle. The presidential election showed us a great number of things, but none more illuminating than the idea that America is “one nation, under God” is, for many, just that: an idea. A myth. A story told to kids to cement the dream of a better tomorrow and a world that wanted them — all of them — in it. The election showed us that there was another America — an America that responded to Trump’s speeches and campaign promises of a country that could only be great if “we” registered, isolated and walled off those things “we” didn’t like. An America that preferred “alt-right” to “White nationalist” — and even if they didn’t answer when the KKK came hawking their affiliation, they maybe didn’t throw

away the literature, either.

True America It was an America that seemed — if one uses the meteoric rise in hate crimes after Nov. 8 as a barometer — to equate “political correctness” with “empathy.” What makes “This Is Us” such a remarkable achievement is that it’s a show that wades into that America with this portrayal of Black masculinity. More than that, it’s not a streaming show (like the routinely challenging “Transparent”) or a prestige cable outing (like “Masters of Sex”). It’s a broadcast drama. It, by definition, has to appeal to a broad audience. And it does. “This Is Us” is the story of the 2016-17 TV season. With its time-shifting, tear-jerking narratives that deal not only with race but with body image, fame and family betrayals, the series is an unmitigated hit.

A show for everyone It is not simply playing to the “coastal elites” — “This Is Us” is playing to everyone, everywhere. And some of that everyone are people who insist that all lives matter. Maybe they are showing up to “This Is Us” for the vapidity of Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley) or the monomania of Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) — Randall’s siblings. Maybe they’re tuning in because they love the mustaches of the flashback-to-the-1970s story lines. Doesn’t matter. Because what they are getting is an exploration of barely contained fury. They are getting a tutorial in what it’s like to be the target of the slings and arrows of genetic whimsy — the atonce bad luck and glorious burden of being born black and brilliant in white America. For the first time, America is seeing the struggle of the assimilated man. The enduring fight to not succumb to a death of a thousand high-fives.


JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017

When we come together, we accomplish more. One man’s dream changed the world. Imagine whose world you can change with a day of service. Publix believes in giving back to the communities we serve. This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, celebrate by serving. Find volunteer opportunities near you at




Selma march By March 1965, the nation’s new Civil Rights Act was on the books. But parts of the South were slow to embrace such a paradigm shift. In particular, in Selma, Ala., African Americans faced corruption, intimidation and gerrymandering on their way to becoming registered voters. Early that month, two weeks after the assassination of Malcolm X, King and more than 500 demonstrators left Selma on U.S. 80 en route to the state capital of Montgomery to tell Gov. George Wallace their rights had been infringed.


Troopers charging marchers at the Pettus Bridge, Civil Rights Voting March in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 1965. But six blocks away, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state troopers and sheriff’s officers attacked the group with bull whips and tear gas. Prompted by media coverage of the assault, supporters from around the country descended on Selma two days later for a second try. But when King agreed to abide by a federal restraining order, the 2,000-plus marchers made the march purely symbolic, once again halting at the bridge. That day, after the curtailed demonstration, James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister who had traveled from Boston for the march, was attacked outside a Selma bar. He died two days later. On March 21, King and thousands more took to the road again. For four days and 54 miles, they braved pouring rain, roadside naps and “trying hills,” finally arriving in Montgomery, a place often called “The Cradle of the Confederacy.” There — like Jonah in the belly of the whale, as one historical account put it — King faced an eventual throng of 25,000. “They told us we wouldn’t get here. And there were those who said that we would get here only over their dead bodies, but all the world today knows that we are here and we are standing before the forces of power in the state of Alabama saying, ‘We ain’t gon’ let nobody turn us around.’”

recognize. “This was a culmination of so many things that were going on,” said Denee McCloud, former director of the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas in Seattle. “He goes into so many things — where racism comes from, why we are here at this place. He talks about it in terms of class, of voting rights — which we’re still dealing with. There’s still people being disenfranchised. So in that way, I thought the speech was very powerful.” The passage above, with its potentially controversial linking of religion to oppression, is particularly noteworthy, Briggs says. “How very revolutionary and forward-thinking,” Briggs says. “How out of the box. He was just heroic. Somebody could read that as blasphemy — but he was courageous enough to be honest about the role that religion played.” The imagery of eating Jim Crow also struck a chord. “We talk about food and feeding our bodies, but he’s talking about feeding your mind and your souls and your heart,” she says. “ ... What we put in is kind of what we are. If we’re eating junk, our bodies are going to reflect that. And if your mind’s eating junk, you’re going to reflect that.”

Reaching out for unity They were on the move now. “Today I want to say to the people of America and the nations of the world, that we are not about to turn around. We are on the move now. “Yes, we are on the move and no wave of racism can stop us. We are on the move now. “The burning of our churches will not deter us. The bombing of our homes will not dissuade us. We are on the move now. ... “Like an idea whose time has come, not even the marching of mighty armies can halt us. We are moving to the land of freedom.” Despite the unnatural divisions King said had led to their circumstances, the speech breathes with hope. “At the end of the speech, he talks about that great day, not of the white man or the black man, but of man,” Briggs says. “He’s still holding out hope. ... He’s talking to all people, saying, we can come together. And that hope is always relevant.” A seemingly inconceivable task. King knew his weary followers would ask: How long? “How long? Not long, because ‘no lie can live forever.’ “How long? Not long, because ‘you shall reap what you sow.’ “... How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Weary road


Demonstrators participating in a march for black suffrage.

History lesson They were here to talk about voting rights. But King saw the injustice they faced was rooted in the post-Civil War period, and he took his listeners there with him, giving focus to a speech at once broad and epic. “There were no laws segregating the races then,” King said. But “toward the end of the Reconstruction era, something very significant happened,” he said. Segregation became a weapon used by Southern business interests threatened by the Populist Movement that had united both poor whites and African Americans. “If it may be said of the slavery era that the white man took the world and gave the Negro Jesus, then it may be said of the Reconstruction Era that the Southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow. ... And when his wrinkled stomach cried out for the food that his empty pockets could not provide, he ate Jim Crow, a psychological bird that told him that no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man. ... “And his children, too, learned to feed upon Jim Crow, their last outpost of psychological oblivion.”

‘Revolutionary’ This is a Dr. King many may not

In his conclusion, King offers nothing less than a spiritual call to action, McCloud said. “He’s taking us and shaking us and saying, ‘Listen, people — we’ve been on a long march where we’ve been physically attacked. We’re pushing though a certain moment. It doesn’t matter that the Civil Rights Act just passed — look what’s happened here.’ People were tired.” The battle, as he said, was in their hands. Against the current backdrop of an oft-divided, election-minded nation, the speech’s relevance remains. Listen, King was saying. Listen. And in doing so, he invoked a song with spiritual foundations but whose lyrics carried a powerful, universal reach. “How long? Not long, because: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; “He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; “He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword; “His truth is marching on.” Within five months, President Johnson had signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 19, 2017



Americans, both white and black, marching from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala., in March 1965, in an effort to guarantee voting rights for all Americans.

‘OUR GOD IS MARCHING ON’ Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1965 speech on voting rights resonates still BY MARC RAMIREZ/SEATTLE TIMES

Listen. Listen — and you’ll hear the words of a man who was more than just an orator. Listen, and in those words you’ll hear not only yesterday’s struggles but the challenges of today. Nearly five decades ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech under the most trying of circumstances, forging rays of hope amid tragedy and strife of landmark resonance. Through his words in “Our God is Marching On,” a much broader picture of King emerges, showing a civil-rights leader who, steeped in the African-American church experience, addressed issues ranging from segregation and poverty to nuclear proliferation and the Vietnam War. “All of those issues are relevant today,” said Timeca Briggs, who has directed a stage production of the famous speech in Seattle. “We saw in the last couple of elections problems with voting, with who gets to vote and who doesn’t.”

Florida Courier - January 13, 2017  

Florida Courier - Sharing Black Life, Statewide

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