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I was reading one of my favorite news sources today AlerNet, and was reminded that today is the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In a great article by Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen, I was reminded of just how controversial and passionate MLK was. I thought I would pass it along.
The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV
By Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen, AlterNet
Posted on April 4, 2007, Printed on April 4, 2007
It's become a TV ritual: Every year on April 4, as Americans commemorate Martin Luther King's death, we get perfunctory network news reports about "the slain civil rights leader."
The remarkable thing about these reviews of King's life is that several years -- his last years -- are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole.
Sometimes it's hard to step up and be a leader within your campus or community. We second-guess our skills and abilities, are confronted with a lack of resources, and continually struggle within our groups to decide how best to make our world a better place.
This is a problem that all leaders, be they young or old have had to face. I once read a quote from the great leader and former president Abraham Lincoln that went " I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day." Feelings of helplessness and isolation afflict the best of us from time to time and perhaps that's one of the reasons why it feels so cathartic to be here at the YP4 summit.
The Young Elected Officials Network and YP4 are currently hosting their third training for the 2006 Class of the Front Line Leaders Academy. This session, held at Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia, is part of what is the most historically significant and moving gathering yet.
Last night Fellows and Young Elected Officials networked at Paschal's Restaurant, the meeting place and watering hole for the Civil Right's Movement. Having been in business for over 50 years in Atlanta, the meal we feasted on was the fuel for leaders in the Civil Rights Movement.
Today sessions at the training kicked off at Morehouse College, a historically black college with roots dating back to 1867. The Alumni that walked these halls include Martin Luther King Jr., Maynard Jackson, and "Spike" Lee. Although times have changed at Morehouse, their mission has remained the same: "to produce academically superior, morally conscious leaders for the conditions and issues of today." This institution specialized not in just producing the next generation of leaders, but producing ethical leaders trained with the skills of compassion and integrity.
Coming to Atlanta, the birth place of MLK, is a lesson in movement building and a powerful choice for PFAW to train the next generation of leaders for the progressive movement. At the training's convocation dinner, PFAW's Deputy Director Of National Programs and African American Outreach Tracy Sturdivant, reminded Fellows that we are meeting in Atlanta on the week that our nation broke ground on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. The memorial is the first National Memorial to honor of a person of color and a person who has not served as President.
The final meeting of FLLA will take place on MLK Day at The Young People For 2007 Summit in Washington DC. Stay tuned to the YP4 Blog for more updates on the training and its outstanding speakers.