After months of hearings, Ghana’s Supreme Court justices will put to rest, this week, a challenge to the election of 2012, creating a possible scenario of bitter if not violent feuding between the two major parties.
I was privileged to attend the March on Washington in 1963, and count it as one of the most profound experiences of my life. The sheer outpouring of thousands of people, particularly Black people, was a testament to our aspirations and determination to win jobs, justice and freedom. The March proved to be a decisive moment in the Black Freedom Struggle and for the nation. August 24th I was privileged to attend the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington (MOW).
As the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, there is a strong temptation to get stuck in a kind of nostalgia for the good old days of a simpler civil rights movement; a movement without angry Black people, afros and shattered glass. And in that nostalgia, sweep under the rug that, although the civil rights movement helped all people live better lives, it was unabashedly a movement borne out of Black organizing traditions to improve the lives of Black people.
This Wednesday, Aug. 28, on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “Dream” oration, President Barack Obama will speak from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Much of the press is speculating about whether the president can reach the “King standard.” Can he deliver an address with the poetry and the vision that made Dr. King’s speech timeless? But I suggest to you that this is the wrong standard by which to measure the president. Barack Obama isn’t the leader of a March on …
Today we spend the hour with 13-term Congressmember Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, one of the last surviving speakers from the historic 1963 March on Washington, D.C. — which took place 50 years ago this year.
The funny thing about so-called “black leadership” is that much of our perception of black public figures is controlled and managed by predominantly white media. Therefore, it is no coincidence that nearly every prominent black person who speaks firmly for the rights of African Americans has been typecast as either a buffoon, a crook or a greedy, selfish liar.
The last time I saw James Baldwin was at a memorial colloquium on Hoyt Fuller at Cornell University in 1984 at which we were both presenting. He was talking, as…