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The Blueprint

Re-Examining Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Global Mission for Peace


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STAFF Denise W. Barnes, Editor Shantella Y. Sherman, Assistant Editor Ron Burke, Advertising/ Marketing Director Lafayette Barnes, IV, Assistant Photo Editor Khalid Naji-Allah, Staff Photographer John E. De Freitas, Sports Photo Editor Dorothy Rowley, Online Editor Brian Young, Design & Layout Mable Neville, Bookkeeper Mickey Thompson, Social Sightings columnist Stacey Palmer, Social Media Specialist Angie Johnson, Circulation

Stacy Brown, Sam P.K. Collins, Michelle Phipps-Evans, Eve Ferguson, Gale Horton Gay, Elton J. Hayes, Njunga Kabugi, Stacey Palmer, Dorothy Rowley, Barrington Salmon, Margaret Summers, Charles E. Sutton, James Wright

The

Blueprint J

ust months before Dr. King’s assassination, he had the opportunity to sit with young people and field their questions about race, fear, and the future. A conscientious and kind man, Dr. King eventually turned the tables on the group of middle school students and inquired of them: What is Your Life’s Blueprint? Asked less to evoke an answer than to encourage self-reflection, the question intimates that every life, while preordained a rational number of successes and setbacks, ought to have as its foundation, a blueprint. This text is of particular consequence as hard fought battles for social and racial equality sit stoically unattended and crumbling before our eyes. The slow and deliberate gentrification of neighborhoods through economic (tax) displacement has signaled a call to the starting gates for intolerance, segregation, and stereotypes of race and class superiority. Those who love justice will not allow the tyranny of the past an opportunity to traipse back en vogue into the lives of their children and grandchildren. If all your people gave you was a sense of entitlement, it’s time you taught yourself how to speak up, speak out, and fight back. Globally the stages are set to welcome home angry and bitter policies of discrimination, based on race, class, economic, and religious or tribal differences. So overwhelming does the horizon appear that many good and sound people have stopped speaking up and speaking out. They’d rather not be labeled troublemakers… As key components to the Voting Rights Act have been struck down, Black youth have been largely abandoned as unsalvageable, and Black homeowners struggle to recover from the devastation of an unjust lending system, the collective attentions of those who need to speak up and speak out have been averted to the latest fight or glop of tomfoolery trending on WorldStarHipHop. Utilizing the texts of Dr. King’s In a Single Garment of Destiny and A Time to Break Silence, the Washington Informer challenges its readers to re-examine their individual blueprints for life. What is it that you want out of life? For what are you prepared to battle? Are you prepared to speak up and speak out for justice no matter the consequence? Dr. King told those students that “If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill, be a scrub in the valley. But be the best little scrub on the side of the hill. Be a bush is you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be the sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or you fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” It’s late in the day… time to ‘be’ something other than quiet. Read & Think,

PHOTOGRAPHERS John E. De Freitas, Roy Lewis, Khalid Naji-Allah, Shevry Lassiter

Shantella Y. Sherman Editor, Special Editions

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Between 1957 and 1968, he traveled more than 6 million miles and spoke at more than 2,500 events.

Dr. King was arrested 30 times and was awarded at least 50 honorary degrees from colleges and universities.

Did You

Know…

There are more than 900 streets named after him in the United States, including the office location of the Washington Informer newspaper.

His father, Michael King, Sr., changed their names to Martin Luther King Sr. and Jr. when Martin Jr. was about 5.

He was the 1st African-American to be named Time magazine’s Man of the Year

Dr. King was 35 – when he won the Nobel Peace Prize; the youngest person, at the time, to win.

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is 17 minutes long.

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INTERVIEWS AND PHOTOS

HEALING

What can you do to bring about racial healing and what obstacles are in your way to doing what you can?

Daisy Hannah, 64, lived in Adams Morgan since 1968.

Pete Ross, 67, candidate for Shadow Senator and business owner

We should be able to communicate about our differences. We have more in common than we have differences. We need to listen more, speak less. Put ourselves in the other’s position. The obstacle for me is no job. African Americans in my age group -- a lot of us are not working and being forced out.

As a company owner I employ minorities and returning citizens. Twenty-five percent are returning citizens. Twenty-five percent are minorities, a few Hispanics and the rest are white. A business where you have people of different backgrounds working together breeds understanding and creates racial harmony. The obstacle is I wish I had a bigger business so that I could do this on a larger scale.

Cover Art Artist Ted Ellis created this piece. Born and raised in New Orleans, a city know for its history, style and artistic exuberance, Ellis is extremely dedicated to his craft. Ellis draws on a style that wa born form his childhood impressions of his

Fighting the Good & Just Fight

Vice President Joe Biden delivered the keynote address at the Nation Action Network‘s Annual King Day Breakfast January 20, in Washington, D.C., during which Biden decried the fact that Voting Rights was being attacked. “I have to admit, I never thought we’d be fighting the fight again on voting rights,” Biden said. But he said those honoring King’s legacy must push to restore the law against a “hailstorm” of efforts to curb voting rights. “Our opponents know… the single most dangerous thing to give us is the right to vote,” Biden said. / Photo by Mark Mahoney M-4 /January 2014 / MARTIN LUThER KING JR SUPPLEMENt

native city. Ellis is self-taught and boldly blends realism and impressionism into his work, often invoking feelings of nostalgia and inspiration. Ellis, who currently resides in Friendswood, Texas, has been recognized as one of the most celebrated artists of the 21st century. He has been commissioned by Walt Disney, Minute Maid, Coca-Cola and Avon and is collected by Angela Bassett, Blair Underwood and Bryant Gumbel, to name a few.

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BOOKS I Have a Dream Martin Luther King, Jr.

From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.” On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson’s magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN, TEENS & COLLEGE STUDENTS

and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation’s past. Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jean Marzollo This sensitively written picture book provides an introduction to the life of Dr. King, beginning with his birth and childhood through to his tragic death. In this simple biography, Marzollo explains the importance of Dr. King’s work and his beliefs. Martin Luther King Jr: Dreaming of Equality Ann S. Manheimer Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of ridding the world of racism, poverty,

inequality, and violence. His passion and commitment led him to become the leader of the Civil Rights Movement and his non-violent approach to protest won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Dr. King’s achievements and the movement he helped lead brought about the end of segregation and resulted in more changes in laws than during any other decade in America’s history. A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., for Students Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The first collection of King’s essential writings for high school students and young people A Time to Break Silence presents Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most important writings and speeches—carefully selected by teachers across a variety

of disciplines—in an accessible and user-friendly volume. Now, for the first time, teachers and students will be able to access Dr. King’s writings not only electronically but in stand-alone book form. Arranged thematically in five parts, the collection includes nineteen selections and is introduced by award-winning author Walter Dean Myers. Included are some of Dr. King’s most well-known and frequently taught classic works, including “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream,” as well as lesser-known pieces such as “The Sword that Heals” and “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” that speak to issues young people face today.wi

See photojournalist Ted Polumbaum’s powerful images of Freedom Summer, and explore news coverage of key civil rights events of 1964.

Ted Polumbaum/Newseum collection

Contributing sponsorship support for “Civil Rights at 50” has been provided by Walmart and Altria.

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/ Courtesy photo

One Goal Two Men, Two Countries,

By Barrington M. Salmon WI Staff Writer Although civil and human rights icons Nelson Mandela and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., never met, there are a number of parallels between these iconic men. Both men fought against apartheid in South Africa and the United States, and each led movements that led to the overthrow of the white minority government in Africa’s southern tip and the dissolution of Jim Crow in the South. King and Mandela were both larger-than-life, influencing significant segments of their respective countries and by their sheer will, formed South Africa and the United States along a very different path racially and socially. Mandela and King were each awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 30 years apart; they fought against state-sponsored terrorism launched against Black people; each man patterned their struggle against racist systems on the Gandhian model, although Mandela later changed tactics;

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Each paid a heavy price for their convictions and activism with King being assassinated in 1968 at age 39, and Mandela serving 27 years behind bars. Further, there are few people in the world unaware of either Mandela or King. In a speech in London, England in December 1964, King spoke of the similarities both movements shared. Black South Africans, King said, are up against “a massively armed and ruthless state which uses torture and sadistic forms of interrogation to crush human beings …” “Clearly, there is much in Mississippi and Alabama to remind South Africans of their own country, yet even in Mississippi, we can organize to register Negro voters, we can speak to the press, we can, in short, organize the people in non-violent action,” King said. “But in South Africa, even the mildest forms of non-violent resistance meet with years of imprisonment, and leaders over many years have been restricted and silenced and imprisoned.” Following his release from

Pollsmoor Prison on Feb 11, 1990, Mandela spoke often of the effect King had on him and on a visit to the United States, Mandela quoted King in an address to Congress, saying he and his fellow South Africans were “free at last.” Laura Ivers, 46, said that as a white woman, she thanks Mandela and King often, not just for freeing Blacks, but also for saving whites from themselves. “The structures of Apartheid and Jim Crow were extremely abusive. The devastation and destruction of an aggressive environment affects everyone,” said Ivers, a member coordinator at Sam’s Club who lives in Syracuse, New York. “The structure sets us up. White people were devastated, as was the family structure. It’s like water being tainted and the most vulnerable being hurt.” White people endure peer pressure, an unwillingness to acknowledge or relinquish the perks of skin privilege, and an inescapable system of denial. “I admire King and Mandela because they saw people on a

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Dr. King and the late-Nelson Mandela shared a host of commonalities, including their fights for civil rights winning the Nobel Peace Prize. / Courtesy photo

human level,” said Ivers. “Racists and those in control win by divide and conquer tactics. Martin Luther King took a tremendous amount of heat for including whites in the movement, but a lot of people I know were touched by it, including me.” King rose to prominence when as a 26-year-old he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. The 381-day boycott began when seamstress Rosa Parks defied a bus driver’s demand that she move to the back of the bus so that whites could sit in the forward section of the vehicle.

Blacks in Montgomery coalesced around the effort to fight back the best way they knew. According to Stanford University’s Encyclopedia, “Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle,” the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) coordinated the boycott, and King, its new president, became a prominent civil rights leader as a result of the international attention focused on Montgomery. In time, said King associate Julian Bond, the Civil Rights movement evolved from a pro-

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test movement into a full-fledged social movement. And like all good movements, its leaders and members continued to agitate, sustain morale, foster fellowship and develop tactics. “Movements must also have catalytic leadership “who join the adventure without a foreseeable end,” and also must have a strategy, plan and tactics to confront its oppressors,��� he told an audience at Gallaudet University last year. “You have to hope and expect the movement to succeed and for it to effect change and provide relief from the injustices

a group faces,” he said. Similarly, at the age of 25, Mandela joined the African National Congress Youth League and was intimately involved in leading his people to stand up to the National Party and its aggression against its opponents. He became the leader and public face of the anti-apartheid struggle against the brutal tactics of the racist government. He rose to prominence in 1952 during what became known as the Defiance Campaign. Mandela orchestrated a three-day national workers’ strike and was arrest-

ed and sentenced to five years in prison. Mandela and other anti-apartheid leaders led black South Africans into a series of popular protests and uprisings against the violence, oppression, bannings, and imprisonment of anyone opposed to the white minority government. In 1963, South African authorities sentenced Mandela and 10 other ANC leaders to life in prison for alleged political offenses, including treason. Mandela walked out of prison a free man when he was 72 years old. Elected president in 1994, Mandela served one term before stepping down. Although the Free South Africa Movement in the United States didn’t gain traction until the 1980s, King advocated sanctions against South Africa in 1964. “If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil; if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny, then apartheid would be brought to an end,” King said. “Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.” Unfortunately, one King and Mandela admirer said, King wasn’t allowed to participate in the America’s reconstruction and reconciliation. “Both experienced a type of death and they were symbols that people rallied around,” said St. Mary’s County resident James Fleming. “Mandela served and actually directed reconstruction. It speaks a little of how brutal our society is, one that settles things with a gun. Dr. King was not able to take part in the rebuilding of America. But I don’t know if he would have been able to direct that from a pulpit. He would likely have to have been a politician.” The powers-that-be in the America could not abide King crossing the boundary from human rights to begin focusing on economic and class issues, said Fleming, a 50-year-old federal government employee. “From the time King started to deal with issues that went beyond Civil Rights and core Civil Rights activities which ran across class, race and the Vietnam War, that spelled trouble,” he said. wi

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The War on Poverty – and MLK

By George E. Curry

W

e are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty at roughly the same time we’re observing the 85th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That’s fitting because despite the concentrated effort to neuter King by overemphasizing his 1964 “I Have a Dream Speech,” his last days on earth were spent trying to uplift garbage workers in Memphis, Tenn. and planning a Poor Peoples Campaign that would culminate in a march to the nation’s capital. Unlike today, when our politicians seek to get elected and re-elected by groveling and catering to the middle class, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty in his Jan. 8, 1964 State of the Union message. “This administration here and

now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America,” he said. “We shall not rest until that war is won. The richest nation on Earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.” Unfortunately, another war – Vietnam – caused Johnson to retreat before he could declare, in the words associated with President George W. Bush, “Mission Accomplished.” Instead of rallying the troops around this noble cause, some subsequent presidents retreated. President Reagan saw fit to joke about this serious national undertaking. Providing a throwaway line that conservatives still use today, the former actor said: “In 1964 the famous War on Poverty was declared and a funny thing happened…I guess you could say, poverty won the war.” Liberals were also misleading, saying instead of having a War on

Poverty, it was more like a skirmish on poverty. The truth lies somewhere between those polar opposites. Since we began collecting such statistics, the lowest U.S. poverty rate was 11.1 percent in 1973. It rose to 15.2 percent in 1983 before falling back to 11.3 percent. In 2012, 13 million people lived below half of the poverty line, most of them children. According to scholars at Columbia University, when recalculated to include expenses not counted in official statistics, the poverty rate fell from more than 25 percent in 1967 to about 16 percent today. Over that period, the child poverty rate declined form 30 percent to less than 20 percent and the elderly poverty rate decline dramatically, from 45 percent to 15 percent. “The truth is that the nation’s investment in the War on Poverty

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has yielded huge and lasting gains,” Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote. “LBJ’s program was not just a plan for financial handouts. It also encompassed a broad approach encompassing ‘better schools, and better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job opportunities,’ as he put it in his address on Jan. 8, 1964. LBJ’s campaign brought us Head Start (in 1965) as well as Medicare and Medicaid. He understood that political and social empowerment were indispensable factors in economic betterment, so he pushed for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Still, many expected the poverty rate to be lower than it is today. According to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities (CPP), “The poverty story over the last half-century in the United States is mixed for several reasons. A much stronger safety net along with factors such as rising education levels, higher employment among women, and smaller families helped push poverty down. At the same time, rising numbers of single-parent families, growing income inequality, and worsening labor market prospects for lessskilled workers have pushed in the other direction. “Today’s safety net – which includes important programs and improvements both from the Johnson era and thereafter – cuts poverty nearly in half. In 2012, it kept 41 million people, including 9 million children, out of poverty, according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). If government benefits are excluded, today’s poverty rate would be 29 percent under the SPM; with those benefits, the rate

is 16 percent.” Other factors also contribute to today’s poverty rate, including rising income inequality, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. It stated that between 1964 and 2012, the share of national income going to the top 1 percent of U.S. households nearly doubled, from 11 percent to 22 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, the share of national income going to the poorest fifth of households fell between 1979 (the earliest year available) and 2012. There is also the issue of shrinking jobs that pay decent wages, especially those at the low end of the pay scale. “Moreover, large racial disparities remain, with child poverty much higher and the share of African Americans with a college degree much lower than among whites. Meanwhile, poverty in America is high compared to other wealthy nations largely because our safety net does less to lift people out of poverty than those of other Western nations,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted. The War on Poverty if far from over. Although slow to join the battle, President Obama is now fully engaged, underscoring our country’s economic inequality. This is no time for the president or Congress to surrender. MLK George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/ currygeorge and George E. Curry Fan Page on Facebook.

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Industrial Bank is proud to join in the celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we continue to strive to make his Dream a reality for all people in the community we serve.

As a full service community bank we offer: Personal Banking Industrial Mortgage Loans Strong Industrial Fixed Rate Refinance Bank First Time Home Buyer Programs Small Business Banking Since 1934 Commercial Loans Commercial Real Estate Loans As always Industrial Bank is ready to serve as your financial partner and support you as you look to invest in yourself, invest in your dreams, invest in your future. Contact us at: (202)722-2000 www.industrial-bank.com MEMBER FDIC

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Area Youth Follow King’s ‘Blueprint’ By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer Six months before his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia. On an early fall night, the civil rights champion made it a point to remind young people of the importance of carefully planning for their future, noting that it would prove vital in helping them to realize their dreams. “I want to ask you a question,” King told the riveted audience. “What is your life’s blueprint?” King told his predominately young audience that they must have as a basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in their fields of endeavor. “You’re going to be deciding as the days, as the years, unfold what you will do in life. What your life’s work will be. Set out to do it well.” Many in the audience reportedly appeared to seriously ponder what the Nobel Peace Prize winner had asked. King illustrated his main point by noting that whenever a building is constructed, there’s usually an architect who draws a blueprint, which serves as the pattern for the eventual construction. “A building is not well erected without a good, solid blueprint,” he said. Kia Anderson, a 20-year-old mar-

Several Say MLK’s Speech a Catalyst for Their Success

“In your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth, and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody.… However young you are, you have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in

Reggie and Kia Anderson / Courtesy photo

which to live.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “What is Your Life’s Blueprint?” ried mother who also works full-time, enrolled in Prince George’s County Community College earlier this month because she and her husband, youth pastor Reggie Anderson, have mapped out a plan that they hope will ultimately provide some of life’s comforts for their infant son. The couple, who live in Temple Hills, Md., also hopes that their plan, will also lead to a more fulfilling lifestyle for them, as well. “I totally agree with Martin Luther King’s philosophy of having a blueprint, a plan and a dream for life,” said Reggie Anderson, 25. “It was by his speech that I myself decided to walk in the calling of preaching and teaching and it has led me to become a minister. We

should all at some point embrace that thought in life,” he said. “The ‘Blueprint’ speech by Dr. King is still important. Everybody needs a plan because a plan helps you to stay on track and it helps you to remember what your purpose is,” said Kia Anderson, a fast-food employee. Anderson said she’s fortunate that her college tuition has proven affordable and that her new school schedule doesn’t conflict with her work or take valuable time away from her closeknit family. King’s 1967 speech proved a wakeup call for the parents and grandparents of Jacob Landestoy, a sanitation worker from Landover, Md. Landestoy, 22, said his father, a postal worker, and his mother, a

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seamstress, regularly spoke of King’s dissertation and because of it they invested the family’s limited funds wisely and taught him how to plan for the future. “My parents and my grandparents each took that speech and said, ‘if you fail to plan than you are planning to fail,’” Landestoy said. “They also told me that whatever it is that I choose to do, even if it was waiting tables or washing cars, to do it to the best of my ability.” Like Landestoy, Olivia White, a Howard University student, said she believes that King’s blueprint may not have meant everyone would be as successful as they’d hoped to, but if the late hero’s speech were followed, there’s little doubt that some level of

happiness would result. “Whatever you do, do it well and do it to where you’re proud,” said White, 20, reflecting King’s words from the speech in which the fallen leader implored others to understand that, “If it’s your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera…and sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.’”wi Like The Washington Informer on Facebook. Follow us onTwitter.

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Celebrate with The Nation’s Capital Grocer™ and honor a man whose dreams moved a nation.

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MARTIN luther KING JR SUPPLEMENT / January 2014 / M-13


As We Commemorate Dr. King, Remember, It’s Up To Us! By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

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s we commemorate the birth of Dr. King and honor the passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela in the shadow of mass incarceration, Stop and Frisk, driving while Black, or in the context of Trayvon Martin, walking while Black, disproportionately high rates of high school drop outs, record home foreclosures, and so many other maladies in our community we have to come to the realization that it’s up to us. When you walk outside of your house, or drive your kids to school, or yourself to work, and you see the human decay and suffering around you, the question has got to be what are we going to do? It’s up to us. Are you ready to move down into the inner resources of your own soul and sign with a pen and ink of self-asserted personhood your own emancipation proclamation and proclaim, not on my watch, not in my house, not in my child’s school, not in my neighborhood? It’s up to you! Please don’t think that I’m some ultra-conservative, some libertarian saying that there’s no place in this process for the government. We need the government both state and national to pass the legislation and provide the resources to assist our communities in solving these problems. The reality is that their not coming. The cavalry is not coming; we are going to have to circle the wagons and save ourselves. Look at what’s happening in Congress right now, 8% unemployment and 16% in the African American community – worst national depression since the Great Depression and Congress has allowed the unemployment benefits of the long-term unemployed to lapse. They have gone into recess failing to reinstate expired jobless benefits for more than 1.3 unemployed Americans. Too many Conservatives just don’t care.

As they debate the Farm Bill the Republican led Congress is looking to cut Food Stamps or what is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP by $40B over the next decade. According to Mother Jones, these efforts by Conservatives would “...boot 2.8 million people off the program next year. That includes 170,000 veterans, who would be removed through a provision in the bill that would eliminate food stamps eligibility for non-elderly jobless adults who can’t find work or an opening in a job training program.” Doctors warn that cuts in food stamps could have tremendous longer term heath implications. Over time poorer Americans will experience spikes in the rates of diabetes and developmental problems in poorer children. Conservatives rather transfer public dollars into private hands; save banks and corporations with poor taxpayer’s dollars. The African American community has been in this struggle, this war for equality for a long time. I think too many of us have forgotten what for us has been at the crux of the issue. Many believe it’s economic, others believe it’s civil rights or legal. Both of these are important and play a role in improving our circumstance but what we’ve been struggling for all of this time is our humanity! Since those first 20 and some odd “African indentured servants” disembarked from that Dutch Man O’ War off the shores of Jamestown, VA in 1619 (395 years ago) we’ve been struggling to be considered human. Examine the founding documents of this country and trace the development of our laws. From the act addressing the causal killing of slaves from 1669 that stated “if any slave resists his master and by the extremity of the correction should chance to die… the master should be acquitted from the molestation,

since it cannot be presumed that prepense malice should induce any man to destroy his own estate.” – We were property, not human – part of the estate. Look at the Three-Fifths Compromise, Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution or the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857). Chief Justice Taney wrote, Negros were considered at the time the Constitution was drafted as a “subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the government might choose to grant them.” With the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 African Americans put their trust in the franchise and the political process. Then the very entity charged with protecting our rights diluted them with the 5-4 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito. They determined that “things have changed dramatically” in the South in the nearly 50 years since the Voting Rights Act was signed in 1965. Have they really? Maybe they have for Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas but not for most of us. I wonder if Justice Thomas’ people in Pin Point Georgia would agree with his assessment that things have changed dramatically? We have been and continue to be struggling for our humanity. We need the government to assist us in solving these problems. The problem is their not coming. The cavalry is not coming; we are going to have to circle the wagons and save ourselves. Our politics are going to have to mature. We have to move away from the politics of pigment and personality to the politics of policy. As we commemorate the birth of Dr. King we are going to have to awaken from what mainstream American

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“…and I come here tonight and plead with you…nobody else can do this for us; no document can do this for us; no Lincolnian emancipation proclamation can do this for us; no Kennedonian or Johnsonian civil rights bill can do this for us; if the negro is to be free, he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul and sign with a pen and ink of self-asserted manhood his own emancipation proclamation.”

– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

media has convinced us was Dr. King’s “Dream” and stay focused on solving the realities of our nightmare. We are going to have to circle the wagons and save ourselves. In his last book “Where Do We go From Here; Chaos or Community?” Dr. King the realist wrote, “The practical cost of change for the nation up to this point has been cheap. The limited reforms have been obtained at bargain rates. There are no expenses, and no taxes are required for Negroes to share lunch counters, libraries, parks, hotels and other facilities with whites… The real cost lies ahead. The stiffening of white resistance is a recognition of that fact

(the Tea Party)…Jobs are harder and costlier to create than voting rolls. The eradication of slums housing millions is complex far beyond integrating buses and lunch counters.” That’s the Dr. King that mainstream America won’t celebrate on Monday! It’s up to us! mlk Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the Sirius/XM Satellite radio channel 110 callin talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Leon” Go to www. wilmerleon.com or email:wjl3us@ yahoo.com.  www.twitter.com/ drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com © 2014 InfoWave Communications, LLC

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To Honor His Dream, We musT Live His Legacy.

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MARTIN luther KING JR SUPPLEMENT / January 2014 / M-15

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Working together is the ultimate source of energy. Today and every day we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Supplement 2014