April 12, 1968: Oakland high school students part of the Asian American Movement salute the casket of 16-year-old Bobby Hutton, a member of the Black Panthers killed by police two days after the assassination of Martin Luther King.
“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!”
- Martin Luther King Jr.,
delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
The #ReclaimMLK campaign, inaugurated by the founders of Black Lives Matter, aims to remind the world that the slain civil rights leader was far more than the voice behind the famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered in Washington in 1963. Born out of a fear that King’s memory has become a sanitized version of the historical person, the #ReclaimMLK campaign dedicated the five days between King’s birthday (Jan. 15) and today’s federal holiday to acts of civil disobedience in his name.
my six year old:
do you know who Martin Luther King Jr is?
no. who is he?
Martin Luther King Jr was the sweetest man ever. He was brown. Not like us, we're white. And back a long time ago, the brown adults and even the kids (completely appalled), had to do all the work. And when the brown kids got to play on the playground after they were done work, they couldn't play with the white kids.
that's not nice.
no, it isn't. and Martin Luther King said that the brown kids and the white kids should be able to play together bc we should love each other no matter what. As long as we're all good people, we're the same people.
oh, wow. what happened to him?
son, tearing up:
he was shooted and killed. He died bc not everyone knew that he was the sweetest man in the world. Some people thought that his good was their bad.
what do you think?
I really, really hope that one day we get a new sweet boy or girl like him that will make the world even better.
Me, speechless by this level of emotion and understanding in a 6 year old:
Martin Luther King Jr. stands in front of a bus at the end of the Montgomery bus boycott. Montgomery, Alabama December 26, 1956. (Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Martin Luther King Jr is arrested by two white police officers in Montgomery Alabama on September 4, 1958. (Photo Credit: Bettman/Corbis)
Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. sits in a jail cell at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama. October 1967. (Photo Credit: Bettman/Corbis)
Dr. King (left) and Stokely Carmichael (right) walk together during the March Against Fear in Mississippi June, 1966. (Photo Credit: Flip Schulke/Corbis )
Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta, lead a five-day march to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery in 1965. (Photo Credit: Bettman/Corbis)
Martin Luther King leading march from Selma to Montgomery to protest lack of voting rights for African Americans. Beside King is John Lewis, Reverend Jesse Douglas, James Forman and Ralph Abernathy. March 1965. (Steve Schapiro/Corbis)
Rev. King waves to the crowd at the March on Washington, August 28,1963. (Photo Credit: Bettman/Corbis)
Daily reminder that on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we should all challenge everyone who misuses MLK’s legacy to proclaim that racial strife is over.
We should challenge those who promote nonviolence only as a means to defang modern social movements.
We should challenge those who use MLK’s name as an excuse to silence resistance.
We should challenge those who believe that a protest should be passive in order to gain legitimacy.
We should challenge those who proclaim that MLK ended racism.
We should challenge those who believe that the United States government loved MLK or would continue to love him if he were alive and in action today. If that were the case, the United States wouldn’t send him suicide letters or assassinate him.
We should challenge the idea that MLK’s only goal was to gain civil rights.
We should challenge the idea that MLK was the only activist that mattered and that only nonviolence is the route to political and social change.
And most importantly, we should challengethe diet interpretation of MLK that had nothing critical to say about the pro-white, patriarchal, capitalist state we live in.