Special Edition Newsletter for Dr. Martin Luther King Day
- Personal recollection about Dr. King by Christina Barr, 14th CD Executive Committee
- Audio clips of selected speeches of Dr. King
- Calendar of events in southeast Michigan for MLK Day (January 18, 2016)
- Selected King tributes
- Letter from the Chairwoman
Personal recollection by Christina Barr About Dr. King
While growing up in Pontiac and attending Webster Elementary, Martin Luther King Day and following up to Black History Month were busy times for us. These events were handled with such reverence. The students and teachers prepared with an excitement that equaled Christmas. It was important for us to honor heroic Civil Rights leaders with performances and songs, especially Martin Luther King Jr
I don’t remember ever being taught to look at my ancestors’ negative past with disdain or even a hint of anger. We were always taught to be inspired that no matter what obstacles they faced, they were able to rise above it with ingenuity, tenacity, intelligence, faith and sheer willpower.
Martin Luther King Jr., a fellow Republican, was a man who famously had a dream. And in the beginning of his “I Have a Dream” speech, he mentions the Emancipation Proclamation, which was brought into fruition by a Republican President. He goes on to speak about how he came to the Lincoln Memorial to cash a metaphorical check. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were promissory notes to even black men, that we should have “inalienable rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. And like many would make the claim today, “America has given the Negro people a bad check.”
But the difference I find with this Civil Rights leader of the past and the infamous leaders of today, is that King refused to believe that “the bank of justice is bankrupt,” while many today bank on the belief that it is.
King had a belief that inspired people for change. The change was that instead of being judged by their color, they would be judged by the content of their character. In a world so grim and unfair, how could he hold on so firmly to these beliefs? Well, even though King was not a perfect man, he had a deep foundation in his faith and he believed in American principles.
A. A. Allen is probably the most famous evangelist in history, and he was forced to put up segregation lines in his giant tent meetings. But by the time they all got to worshiping and praising God, those lines would be torn down and they would be dancing with each other as the Spirit of God swept through the place. Men like King know that God doesn’t see in color, and he had faith that one day, we would be wise enough to see through a prism of love. I wish there was a way we could overcome injustice with the spirit of an overcomer rather than retaliation and burning down black owned businesses like the riots in Ferguson.
King had faith that there would be justice and opportunities for his people because that’s what the American Dream is. He believed that if equal rights were given, blacks would be able to thrive. He believed in the “riches of freedom and the security of justice.” He wasn’t wrong. There are so many black political leaders, musicians, scientists, artists, doctors, chefs, authors, etc. We have to return to the desire that King expressed: “We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.” In this day and age where you can be world famous for being a man and putting your hair up in a ponytail on Instagram, there is no excuse not to dream a little bigger. There’s too much opportunity not to succeed, and despite what class warfare instigators might spew, there’s plenty of success for everyone.
When I hear older African Americans who lived through the 50s and 60s, they shake their heads at this brash social media generation because there doesn’t seem to be an appreciation for how much the world has changed. America has taken tremendous strides.
I know there is still racism alive and well today, and it extends further beyond the plight of the Negro. I don’t know if we can ever live in a world where racism is eradicated, because there will always be someone who wants their child to inherit their hate. To be honest, there are too many people who make a living off of spreading it and reaping the benefits of unfortunate circumstances. And if our Constitution protects love, it unfortunately protects hate. Emotions can’t be changed politically because it’s a personal challenge that every individual must face.
My father, Apostle Keith Barr, always teaches his congregation this: “If you’re a Christian, then you shouldn’t believe in racism. If you truly believe that God has made you the head and not the tail and that you’re more than a conqueror, you should be able to succeed no matter what.” This is something that I’ve applied to my life. I’m young, but I have had my fair share of ignorant racists that have come against me. But I know that no matter what happens to me or how I’m treated by someone else, the content of my character matters to me. There is no amount of racism that can change the person I choose to be.
When I have children, I will teach them about the struggles of their ancestors because I will want them to be overcomers in all circumstances. They will not inherit racism from me, just as I did not inherit racism from my parents.
So, today I have a question to ask. Are you proud of the content of your character? Because if you’re not, then color is the least of your worries.
By: Christina Barr
Audio clips of Selected Speeches by Dr. King
- Top ten King quotes http://news.yahoo.com/10-famous-quotes-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-155425828.html
- Even more of ML King’s best quotes https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/23924.Martin_Luther_King_Jr_
- Audio of ML King’s most famous speech https://archive.org/details/MLKDream
Events in southeast Michigan for MLK Day (January 18, 2016)
- M.L. King High School program http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5bfd725cc2cb405342f1142f5&id=6eab8df74d&e=0f82b89247
- Event listing for southeast Michiganhttp://www.metroparent.com/daily/family-activities/family-events/mlk-jr-day-events-southeast-michigan/
- Detroit ML King Day http://mlkdetroit.org/
- King National Day of Service grants available http://www.michigan.gov/mcsc/0,4608,7-137--205301--,00.html
Selected King Tributes
- The “I Have a Dream” speech from Washington, D.C. (though it was first delivered in Detroit a few weeks before this was recorded) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRIF4_WzU1w
- History Channel has a package of video classics about Dr. King http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/martin-luther-king-jr/videos
- Dr. King’s final sermon “I Have Been to the Mountain Top” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL4FOvIf7G8
A Message from the Chairwoman
Dear 14th District Executive Committee Members, and fellow Republicans;
This Special Edition Newsletter is dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who, as noted in the article above written by Christina Barr of our Executive Committee, was a fellow Republican. Dr. Martin Luther King stood for many characteristics that are rarely found today. That is why we will celebrate a day of recognition in his honor on January 18th.
The Republican Party platform closely aligns with values held by most Americans, including African-Americans. Republicans share many of the same values such as family, small government, low taxes and personal accountability that transcend all races.
Consider taking a personal role in getting all American’s to stand with us and to elect only those politicians who respect our platform. Do this in the name of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Next 14th CD Meeting: January 21 at 6:00pm
At this meeting you will hear a presentation by: Jihad Alharash, MD, Co-founder and Board member of www.SARN-us.org. Jihad will present the “Other Side of Refugee Resettlements”. At the conclusion of the presentation, the Committee will vote to support or not support a proposed Refugee Resettlements Resolution.
All Republicans are welcome to attend this open meeting! Please join us with your ideas, energy and help to make us grow!
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