Great words, no deeds to remember

By Sinclere Lee

ATLANTA, Georgia (BNW) -
- It is no question that Martin Luther King gave up his life to save America from another civil war, but what was it all for? Today, comparatively speaking, Black Americans are in the worst shape today that they were before his death. So, what was it all for? maybe we should have not been so nonviolent because we are still fighting the same struggles with the same enemy. The white Man!

As the winds pick up the verses across the country of the old Negro spiritual, "We shall overcome …" it appears to be a hollow phrase in that we have not overcome nothing in this racist country, yet. We are still uneducated, we are still the majority in all the prisons in this country, and we are still treated without respect and dignity as a people from a country we help create. But, "We shall overcome …" When will we overcome this racist country? what day and time. I don’t want to hear that "We shall overcome someday." bullshit! What day? When? What time?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the preacher who made the world his pulpit, is part of history now. Had he not been assassinated April 4, 1968, and remained alive, King would have been 73 this past Tuesday, January 15.

Monday is his day, and cities, towns and communities across the nation will pause to remember Atlanta's son, and it’s just a bunch of bullshit.

The sign outside the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church was relit recently. What would he say today, with one nation newly on alert for terrorists and another digging out of the rubble of a U.S.-led war?

"I think he would be very disappointed with all the conflicts in the world," said Georgia state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who spoke Sunday at Ebenezer Baptist Church, a sprawling sanctuary across historic Auburn Avenue from the smaller church of the same name where King first preached about 50 years ago.

The old church, its sign re-lit late last week as part of a $1.8 million renovation, is the focal point in a complex that reveres his memory.

He would urge the nation's leaders to remember that Americans have civil liberties, said Brooks, an Atlanta Democrat.

King would tell them racial profiling -- be it on a sidewalk, a highway or in a line waiting to board an airplane -- is wrong, Brooks said. "He would want peace," said Brooks, 56, who was a teen when he met King and listened in on the minister's planning sessions with other civil rights leaders. "He would want the world's leaders to talk to each other more."

He would set an example, said Tom Kapellen, a visitor from Plymouth, Wisconsin. He and his daughter, Melissa Kapellen, attended Sunday's service.

"You come down here and you feel the need for better fellowship," said Kapellen, 55, a retired auto-parts salesman. "Just being here is an inspiration."

His daughter, 23, visiting Atlanta to check out a graduate program at Emory University, agreed. "I want to model myself after the brotherhood I've seen here," she said.

There is much to learn from King, said Fabienne Quick, 40, of Kernersville, North Carolina. She and her sister Tanya Craigman, 41, also of Kernersville, came to Atlanta to instill a little education in their sons, Claude Quick, 9, and his cousin, Ricardo Craigman, 14.

Ebenezer's congregation remembers King in a service at the new church Sunday.  

They visited the complex's history center, where old photos and faded signs tell the story of struggle, where newsreels, continuously looping, depict the indignities of Greensboro, North Carolina, and the atrocities of Birmingham, Alabama.

"I think this is a chance for our kids to learn," said Craigman, who slipped an arm around Ricardo, a mass of wiggles in baggy pants. "He talked about nonviolence," said Quick. "He encouraged people of all nationalities to come together.

"He talked about diversity, and that is what makes America."


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