Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Discussion in 'General' started by Methodical Management, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Methodical Management

    Methodical Management Administrator Staff Member Co-Founder

    Dec 9, 1999
    The past year has been one of considerable change on NikeTalk, and, if you've been with us for awhile, I'm sure you'd agree that the overwhelming majority of these changes have been positive.  

    Unfortunately, our new, modern layout no longer affords us the opportunity to run our old Dr. King tribute banner, which we'd displayed proudly each year:

    Although we can't replace the banner, I thought we might start a new tradition and mark the occasion together by discussing Dr. King's legacy in a conversation to be featured on our front page.

    And, frankly, at a time when our schools are more segregated than they were in the 1960's, when over 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, when our country is still besieged by violence and hatred, this is a conversation that demands to be at the forefront.  

    Too often, and for too many, January 21st passes as a day of complacency and self-congratulation.  And while Dr. King is justly associated with peace, "True peace," he reminded us, "is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."  

    While it is certainly both necessary and vital to acknowledge the sacrifices of all those who've suffered immeasurably to help us reach this point, we cannot truly honor those sacrifices without looking into ourselves and asking how we can help build a better world.


    "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness.  This is the judgment.  Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?" 

    "Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of aerodynamics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

    "As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars.  As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people in this world cannot expect to live more than twenty-eight or thirty years, I can never be totally healthy even if I just got a good checkup at Mayo Clinic.  I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.  This is the way our world is made.  No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent.  We are interdependent."


    On December 4th, 2000, almost one year after NikeTalk opened to the public, a small plaque in Dr. King's honor was placed at the Northwest end of the Tidal Basin, just a few feet from the spot of the current memorial.  It's a path I've traced countless times over the years.  Every time I reached that little, nondescript plaque, one so often and so easily overlooked by passersby, I would pause for a moment in reverence.  Over $107 million was eventually raised for the memorial, which finally opened last August.  Even before NikeTalk had the means to donate to charity, I fantasized about contributing a substantial sum to help finance the construction, so that I and future generations would have something of substance and permanence to accompany the invisible monument Dr. King's oration has created around the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  And while Dr. King is more than worthy of the grandest monument we could possibly build in his honor, I came to realize that, had he a say in the matter, he'd have greatly preferred to spend $100 million helping to realize his ideals in flesh and blood, not in granite and marble.  We should be building living monuments to love, peace, and justice.

    There can be no doubt that Dr. King has strongly influenced our call to service.  Community is both an opportunity and an obligation.  

    To be at our best, we must bring out the best in each other and work together for the benefit of all.  

    Though it's an admittedly minor gesture, I thought today would be as good a day as any to announce our recent donation of $4,830 to the Harlem Children's Zone.  

    Though best associated with its Promise Academy charter schools, Harlem Children's Zone offers a suite of programs and services to residents throughout its 97 block "Children's Zone" in Harlem. 

    Dr. King publicly supported employment and education programs for young people in Harlem, such as those developed by Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited (HARYOU), an organization founded by Dr. Kenneth Clark and Cyril DeGrasse Tyson.  

    He expressed his support for these programs beautifully in a 1965 interview with Playboy magazine:
    This donation, one of the last donations we made in 2012, officially puts us over the $175,000 mark in donations to date.  

    In 2013, it's our goal to contribute an average of $5,000 in donations each month.  We'll continue to support education, social justice, and disaster relief efforts.

    And that's a start, but we can't stop there.  

    If Dr. King were still with us, he'd have turned 84 on January 15th.  

    I know he would've been heartbroken to see people robbing and hurting each other over pairs of $200 sneakers, often assembled by other young people who still struggle to earn what most would consider a living wage. 

    These days, Michael Jordan isn't the one making those shoes cool.  You are.  

    Many of us are now in our twenties and thirties.  Young people in our communities look up to us just as we looked up to older kids and young adults when we were in our early teens.  Former and current NikeTalk members have gone on to record hit albums, play in the NBA, design shoes worn by MVPs, and work for the very brands we once idolized.  Now, we're the ones in positions of influence.  How will you use it?

    Fashion and athletics helped us define and express ourselves when we were young.  

    What are the standards that we set for ourselves now - and what are the expectations we're setting for others?  

    The sneaker industry, and the fashion industry in general, is built on appearances.  It's not about truth so much as merely dressing the part.  We have whole forums dedicated to distinguishing fake from authentic when it comes to sneakers, but today, at least, we should focus on being authentic people.  Real justice, real peace, and real love aren't outfits, images, or accessories.  

    Our values should shine through in every aspect of our lives.  In his absence, Dr. King challenges all of us to BE the embodiment and personification of our ideals.  

    Let's be better.  Let's make each other better.  Let's make our communities better.  Let's make our world better.  Let's make our future better.  

    That's what today means to me.  

    What does it mean to you? 
  2. pr0phecy718


    Jul 17, 2002
    :pimp: great post method man
  3. manny1


    Feb 11, 2009
  4. doitallpaul


    Dec 4, 2007
    Sorry but this is a long post and it is the most inspirational speech I have ever heard and read.

    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 languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
    In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, 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. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to 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 quick sands 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. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
    But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
    We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to 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. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
    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 selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs 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.
    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. 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, 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 self-evident: that all men are created equal."
    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at 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, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
    This is our hope. This is the faith 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.
    This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
    And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
    Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
    Let freedom ring from the curvaceous 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!"
  5. growingupny


    Jan 4, 2013
    I believe Dr. Kings' Dream has evolved into something different today.

    Racism, Classism, & Sexism still exist today but in a significantly reduced capacity than during Dr. King's days.

    Today, we all strive to achieve attainable goals, caucasian, asian, latino etc. We strive to be better and do greater things than the previous generation. We look at what they've achieved and ask ourselves "How Can I do Better?".

    Dr. King paved way for all of us to have the chance to even ponder a question like that.

    Today, I know just as many mixed race individuals as ones that are of one race. Dr. King's message has finally been heard.

    Sadly, there are those that have forgotten. Shootings in the most innocent of public places, robbing people over materialistic things. There may always be a struggle within any community. But it's the spirit of progress and Dr. King's message that still allows a light to shine through the darkness.

    Today of all days, I think about what my life would be like if it hadn;t been for the pioneers of progress, the champions of courage.

    Dr. King embodied all of these things, not just for blacks, but for all people.

    Happy Belated Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  6. jthagreat


    Dec 29, 2004
    MetalMario likes this.
  7. grizzly hebert

    grizzly hebert

    Mar 30, 2005
    Glad to see this thread.

    Didn't think we would have a tribute this year.
  8. kobe4threebang


    Jan 14, 2009
    dont forget to add the part about the plagiarism or the beating of white hookers, seems like everybody forgets this part

    but thanks for the extra day of vacation
    oh you mad, boogiexdown and kingkoopa like this.
  9. growingupny


    Jan 4, 2013

    It's a day of rememberance.

    Thomas Jefferson owned slaves but his face gets immortalized in the side of Mt. Rushmore.....[​IMG]

    Keep quiet.
  10. water


    Nov 1, 2012
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [​IMG]
  11. water


    Nov 1, 2012
    Everyone makes mistakes, its the ability to prove yourself, make change, and make a difference. 
    ccastro02 and dh1water like this.
  12. growingupny


    Jan 4, 2013
    This X 1000
  13. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony

    May 1, 2010
  14. Mactastic4167

    Mactastic4167 formerly mac4167

    Nov 15, 2008
    One of my favorite leaders.
  15. kobe4threebang


    Jan 14, 2009
    terrible analogy but ok

    what happened in the early 1800's is way diff than what would have happened in the 20th century and thomas jefferson did way more for this country than mlk did

    ever heard of the declaration of independence? and he still doesn't have his "own" day

    and plagiarizing another mans work word for word for years isnt a "mistake" its plagiarism
    boogiexdown and kingkoopa like this.
  16. growingupny


    Jan 4, 2013
    Thomas Jefferson "Authored" the thoughts of a group of men. He simply was the best writer at that time who was available. Luck of the draw for him.

    MLK progressed the simple, closed minded thinking of Americans to a point of cohabitation. I'd say that's way more important than being the glorified secretary of the early colonies...
  17. toine2983


    Dec 22, 2005
    Don't derail the purpose of this thread with nonsense.

    Some of y'all just like to stir the pot in threads like this just because.
    puremichigan and stiunit like this.
  18. growingupny


    Jan 4, 2013
    My mistake, I got suckered in.
  19. ccastro02


    Jun 28, 2007
    Great interview.

  20. grimlock


    Sep 29, 2008
    All I can say is that I am uplifted this Monday morning. Martin's dream is not only a dream for african-americans but for everyone really. What a great man. He saw unity, instead of dominance. He was ahead of his time and died much too soon before it.

    He was a prophet of humanity.