In Honor of MLK, Jr.

In honor of Dr. King, we give you links to some of the blogosphere’s best tributes to him:

“Op-Ed: An MLK Day Call for Justice” by Rev. Irene Monroe

I miss the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. I miss the sound of his voice, the things he said with his voice. I miss the choir that resounded within him and came out of his voice. In keeping his dream alive we must continue to lift our voices. We must speak our truth to power. And for those of us who live on the margin we must speak out, because our survival as LGBT worshipers in our faith communities is predicated on our voices being lifted.

“It’s Our Turn: Celebrating MLK Day” by Van Jones

MLK day is a chance to look back and look ahead — let’s reflect on one of the most important movements of our past as a springboard for the ongoing fight for justice. There is a lot left to fight for, and every day people are continuing Dr. King’s struggle. With a powerful movement sweeping the country, we must gather together and ask: What would Dr. King and other civil rights leaders do today? How can we continue their legacy in 2012 and beyond? […]
2012 will be groundbreaking, so we have to get together and get ready. It’s our turn. Let’s honor the inextricable link between the struggles of our past and the struggle for our future.

“Inequality in 2012 by the Numbers: How Far Are We from Making Dr. King’s Dream a Reality?” by the Center for American Progress

Martin Luther King Jr. was an outspoken advocate for the poor and less fortunate. At the time of his death, he was organizing a cross-racial Poor People’s Campaign that raised many issues still important today. Many Americans—particularly communities of color and young people—continue to lack access to economic opportunities and this must be addressed if we are to truly carry on Dr. King’s work.
This by-the-numbers piece takes a look at how many Americans are still struggling to find a way out of poverty, find employment, and gain both health care and education not only for themselves but for their families.

“Decades After MLK, the School-to-Prison Pipeline is the New Jim Crow” by Liz Dwyer

…The Children’s Defense Fund research has revealed that black children are criminalized in American schools. They’re almost three times as likely to be suspended from school and are more than four times as likely to be expelled. Even though research proves that building strong relationships with students, not law enforcement, is what puts students on the right track, school districts continue to invest their dwindling resources in having a police presence on campus. Instead of giving students guidance, schools now treat them “as potential violators.”

“8 Songs for Your Martin Luther King Day Playlist” by Jorge Rivas

It’s not often enough we get to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, so with the help of a few readers on Twitter, I compiled a list of songs that actually sample MLK speeches or reference his legacy.
Listen to the songs and then the MLK’s speeches that inspired them right below.
Happy MLK Day!

“In His Own Words: Dr. King’s ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ Speech at the SCLC” from the Racialicious team

 When our days become 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.
Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

VIDEO: “Ten OTHER Things Martin Luther King Said” by Jay Smooth

7. Don’t let anyone make you think God chose America as his divine messianic force, to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. I can hear God saying to America, “You are too arrogant, and if you don’t change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I will place it in the hands of a nation that doesn’t even know my name.”
8. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of this nation, the great initiative in this war was ours. The initiative to stop it, must be ours.
9. A nation that continues to spend more on military defense, than on programs of social uplift, is approaching spiritual death.

“How to Be a Racial Justice Hero, on MLK Day and All Year Long” by Hatty Lee and Terry Keleher

Racial Transformers don’t fixate on who’s a racist or whether someone intends animus. For they know that the deepest racism lies not just in the hearts and minds of individuals, but in the roles and rules of big institutions—like schools, courtrooms and corporations. That’s their primary focus of change—these familiar systems of power, churning out deep and deadly racial inequities by the day.
And that, my friend, can be you.

Don’t forget to check out the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University!

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