All Articles Tagged "martin luther king jr"

Kids Reading List: 15 Books Inspired By Martin Luther King Jr.

January 15th, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Martin's Big Words

Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy continues to be the subject of many current conversations around the world with the recent release of the highly-anticipated film, Selma directed by Ava Duvernay.  Selma tells the story of Dr. King’s voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery which eventually lead to President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Not to mention, the film resonates with the times and the protesters who recently rallied after the deaths of Staten Island’s Eric Garner and Ferguson, Missouri’s Michael Brown.

Mommies, include your babies in the conversation by considering these books about Coretta Scott King, Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Click continue to check out a special reading list for preschoolers and up.

Kid’s Reading List: 15 Books Inspired By Martin Luther King

Wise Words: 15 Powerful Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

January 19th, 2015 - By Rich
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words will forever resonate. Today as the world reflects on Dr. King’s legacy, let’s also remember his words of wisdom that still unfortunately speak to the times. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” Dr. King once said. His influential words continue to galvanize and remind us to never give up on fighting for what’s right. Click continue to see famous Dr. King quotes about leadership, love and justice!

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“Nobody Said You Had To Be With One Woman”: Chad Johnson Tries To Justify Cheating, Says Even MLK Was “Hoeing”

May 2nd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Chad Johnson

In the preview for an episode of Nite Cap with Peter Bailey, Chad Johnson, still doing in-depth interviews about love and why things didn’t work out between him and Evelyn Lozada (a lot of free time I guess), spoke about his issues with monogamy, which seemed to go directly against everything Bailey was saying and standing for. It was definitely a heated but lively back and forth, as Bailey spoke about men messing up good things because of their obsession with sex, and Johnson claiming that love doesn’t pay the bills. But what stood out most from their conversation was Johnson’s statements about Martin Luther King, Jr. and infidelity, which quite a few people aren’t too happy about. Here are some tidbits from that chat:

On Monogamy:

Johnson: “Nobody said it had to be the way it is. We all trying to follow rules, somebody made those rules up. Somebody made those rules up! Nobody said you had to be with one woman. Nobody said that!”

Bailey: “But isn’t the outcome of multiple women, drama?”

Johnson: “I never had any drama.”

Bailey: Chad…you never had any drama? Chad, the woman you loved got mad at you because you had other women.”

Johnson: “I told the f**in’ truth when I met her!”

Bailey: “But she got mad because of it, so it did cause drama!”

On Love:

Johnson: “Love ain’t paying no bills man.”

Bailey: “Your idea of love is off.”

Johnson: I’m just telling you the truth.

Bailey: “So you’re not willing to make that sacrifice for that woman?”

Johnson: “I can’t. It’s a great sacrifice but it’s hard to do, and I choose not to sell that dream like I can do it, and that’s the problem now. Why can’t I sit here and tell you the truth?”

On Dr. King And Cheating:

Bailey: “If Dr. King and these guys were realists, we wouldn’t be sitting here. You wouldn’t be sitting in this big ‘ol house. You wouldn’t. When Dr. King was talking this type of stuff and the brothers were like ‘Man, come on man, this ain’t never going to happen.'”

Johnson: “What was Dr. King doing behind closed doors?”

Bailey: “You really going to go there on me, Chad?”

Johnson: “Don’t sugarcoat it.”

Bailey: “It’s been documented that the man had infidelity issues.”

Johnson: “So we not being real right now…You don’t want to say hoeing? Why don’t you just say hoeing?”

Not sure what to make of all he had to say, other than that it’s clear that Chad Johnson really doesn’t seem to believe in love, and now that it’s been made clear like three times already–ladies, run in the other direction (as if there wasn’t good reason to run kicking and screaming before). Check out the preview of his conversation with Peter Bailey below and share your thoughts on his statements:

“Respectable Black Community” Won’t Approve: Oliver Stone Cancels MLK Film

January 20th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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oliver stone cancels mlk film

A few months ago, we told you about the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. biopic set to star Jamie Foxx, directed by Oliver Stone.

Well, it’s looking like that’s not going to happen. According to Shadow and Act, Oliver Stone took to Twitter on Friday to confirm that the project has been canceled. He explained: (Read from the bottom up.)

Oliver Stone Cancels MLK Film

Source: Twitter


I’m conflicted on this one. I have my own issues with the respectable black community, of which I’m an occasional member. I know and understand the pressure and desire to appear perfect and unflawed in the eyes of the mainstream– white people. It’s a survival mechanism, really. If I can prove to you, white person, how “good” I am then maybe you’ll treat me properly, like a human being. If I exhibit any real human emotion like anger or rage or hell, just want to have fun and goof off, I’ll be seen as brutish, animalistic, foolish, unintelligent, subhuman.

I hate the respectable black community to which I belong because a racist is a racist is a racist. And I shouldn’t have to stifle my real, human emotions just to prove to you that I’m a human being, worthy of respect. But that’s the world in which we live.

And while I’m constantly striving to be my authentic self, good, bad and in between in front of all people, without worrying about their judgement, I also understand the interest of those who want to protect the “respectable” image of Dr. King.

After all, how many black leaders’ images have been tarnished in the media? Dr. King is perhaps the last man we can point to as our beacon of hope, righteousness, progress…essentially goodness. To many in the black community, he represents the best in us, the fact that we are worthy and do deserve respect. And while we know he was human and imperfect, he’s still ours to protect.

But then the other part of me worries that the respectable black community feels that Dr. King’s entire legacy could be tarnished by a single movie, a mere interpretation of his actual life. At this point, I wonder honestly who doesn’t know Dr. King had extramarital affairs? And while that sucks for he and his family, it doesn’t change the work that he did for the nation and even the world following his example.

I believe the more we know about the imperfections of our heralded leaders, the easier it is for today’s young people to look at themselves and know that while they are not perfect they can still make a significant contribution to the world. And hopefully at the end of their own lives, people will remember more of the good you did than your indiscretions.

Still, I don’t know if I all the way trust Stone and his motives. There’s no shortage of history of movie executives exploiting a story for financial gain.  I can’t say that was the case here but it’s probable.  And we want to be able to protect what little piece of shine white people readily recognize, even though it’s high time we stop waiting for their validation.  I wonder if the respectable black community would have received an Oliver Stone type of script if it had come from a black screenwriter, one who is more in touch with the responsibility we still feel to protect our leader after nearly 50 years since his passing.

UPDATE: Hennessy Apologizes For PR Fail For Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 17th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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via @HennessyUS

via @HennessyUS

MadameNoire received a statement from an executive in Hennessy’s consumer marketing department in response to this story, originally published yesterday. It reads: 

Hennessy deeply regrets the release of this unauthorized and inappropriate media communication. The tone and content of the communication are contrary to the core values of Hennessy. We are reviewing the incident to make sure that mistakes like this do not happen in the future.


January 16,2014

So Hennessy has lost their mind and suggested that since it’s too frosty outside, we can’t have barbecues or beach parties, so we should celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day indoors — with some mixed drinks of their signature spirit.

Hennessy shamelessly proceeded to list a selection of recipes that “MLK Jr. Would Be Proud Of.” And as you can imagine, according to LA Magazine, invoking the name of  the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to promote their booze wasn’t very well-received.

So Martin Luther King Jr. rallied up 250,000 people for The March on Washington, orated the I Have a Dream speech, and was assassinated in the name of civil rights, human dignity, and the betterment of mankind — and you’re telling us that the first thing MLK would be proud of is a damn cocktail? They tried it!

Here is the pitch, released by Pivotal — Hennessy’s PR firm — that ruffled our feathers:

“Monday is Martin Luther King Day, a day used to commemorate the work of the Civil Rights activist. In the middle of winter, beaches and BBQ parties are impractical for the majority of the country that are given the day off.  Check out these delicious Hennessy V.S specialty mixed drinks that are perfect for any indoor gathering to celebrate Dr. King’s life.”

One of the mixed drinks suggested by Hennessy is the “Introspective Moment,” made with cigar-infused Hennessy, ginger beer, bitters, coffee, and a cherry.

If only Hennessy could take an “introspective moment” and taste their words before they spit it out to the public. We highly doubt Monday’s memorial services  — commemorating King’s arduous fight for equal rights — will be partying it up with some “Henny” at hand.

If they wanted to talk alcohol and Dr. King, they should have at least attempted to be historically accurate. According to Seattle Times, orange juice and vodka was MLK’s preferred mixed drink.

MLK’s Daughter, Dr. Bernice King, Speaks Out On Party Promoters Using Her Dad’s Image For Twerk Parties

January 14th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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MLK party flier

What are you doing on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. day? Some might head to King’s memorial in the National Mall in D.C. Others might watch one of the many biopics/TV movies done on his life. But if you’re a party promoter, you might throw a very random and ratchet twerk party for teenagers. Seriously, this stuff happens.

Our writer, Charing Ball, spoke about the issue with using MLK’s image for an array of unauthorized things and just plain ol’ tacky things, including parties, in an essay last year. But in an interview with Fox 5 that aired last night, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Bernice King, spoke about her own disappointment with her father’s image being used for such juvenile stuff, as more MLK-themed “twerk” parties are scheduled to happen this weekend. One that is catching a great deal of attention is a shindig in Michigan this weekend called the “Freedom 2 Twerk” party, but quite a few went on last year too (including the “Bopping For Peace” party in Chicago and others in Alabama, Florida and even Ontario, Canada).

“I feel like we have failed to reach these (groups).

This imagery thing is just appalling, and it’s almost embarrassing. For me, as his daughter, it’s like ‘wow’, I lost a father who sacrificed everything for them to live a much more dignified and respectful life, and for it to come to this makes me sad.

It’s one thing if they want to party in celebration. Its another thing when you take his actual image and suggest he is down with it like that.

I’m sad, really, that it’s come to the point where there’s a generation that has no appreciation and understanding for what my father stood for. It suggests to me we’ve got a lot of work to do to reach them.”

And work is what Dr. Bernice King wants to do, suggesting that the King Center will contact activists and community organizers in the places that the parties are supposed to take place. She wants to have an open dialogue with them about what can be done to reach young people there so they know more about her father’s contributions to their freedoms, and in turn, take the day meant to honor his life more seriously.

What do you think about the party promotions?

Harry Belafonte And MLK’s Estate Duke It Out Over The Sale Of Dr. King’s Most Famous Speeches

October 16th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Harry Belafonte

Source: WENN

Well, there appears to be more drama involving the family of slain civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. According to TMZ actor and social activist Harry Belafonte has some of Dr. King’s original speeches in his possession. He also has the notes that were in his late friend’s pocket when he was assassinated back in 1968 and the condolence letter written to Coretta Scott King by President Lyndon Johnson. Harry is looking to auction off the items, but Dr. King’s family isn’t really going for it.

Back in 2008, Harry tried to sell the items at a Sotheby’s auction, but the Kings objected and the auction was canceled. According to reports, Harry has been pretty angry about the way things went down and now he’s taking Dr. Martin Luther King’s estate to court. Now he’s not requesting money, but instead he’s asking for a judge to rule that he is the rightful owner of the items and that he has the right to sell them if he pleases. Oh, but there’s more. Sotheby’s is keeping the items until a judge rules on who the rightful owners are.

There’s no word on exactly how Harry acquired any of the items, but he and Dr. King were good friends. MLK frequently worked out of Harry’s New York City apartment and Harry offered him lots of financial support. It sucks that things have come to this. Hopefully they can settle this amicably.

Well, That Would Be Interesting: Jamie Foxx To Play Martin Luther King In New Biopic?

October 11th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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According to Shadow and Act and Variety, Jamie Foxx will reportedly play Civil Right’s icon Martin Luther King, Jr. in a new biopic directed by Academy Award-winning director, Oliver Stone.

The movie will reportedly be brought to life by DreamWorks (along with Warner Bros.), who had major success last year with the film Lincoln. According to reports, both of the studios have been trying to get a picture on Martin Luther King, Jr. made for years now, dating back to 2009. The story would follow King from his early days as an activist and go all the way to his assassination in 1968. The script has already been put together by Kario Salem, and producers behind the project include Steven Spielberg, Suzanne De Passe, Madison Jones and Samuel Nappi.

As Variety pointed out, for both Oliver Stone and Jamie Foxx, biopics are pictures they do some of their best work in. Of course, Foxx picked up an Academy Award for his role as Ray Charles in Ray, and Stone is known for his biopics, including, JFK and W. 

As talented as Foxx is, do you think he would be a good fit for Martin Luther King, Jr.? Would you go see it? Or are you too through with the stream of biopics coming out these days?


Another King Family Squabble: Dr. Martin Luther King’s Sons Sue Their Sister

September 7th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Bernice King & Martin Luther King III in 2009. WENN

Bernice King & Martin Luther King III in 2009. WENN

Martin Luther King Jr. is probably rolling over in his grave. The children of the revered Civil Rights activist have turned again to the legal system in the battle over his estate. Now, just as the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic March on Washington and his famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” Dr. King’s sons are suing their sister.

According to WXIA-TV, Dexter King and Martin Luther King III, who run the King estate, have filed  a lawsuit against the King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which is headed by their sister, Bernice King.

The brothers claim the King Center has mishandled historical documents, recordings, and even their father’s remains. The brothers allege that valuable items at the King Center are at risk of damage and theft.

Last month, the King Center was informed that its licensing agreement with the King estate was being terminated.

According to ABC News, on Aug. 28, King’s estate filed a complaint in an Atlanta court asking a judge to stop the King Center from using his image, likeness and memorabilia. This includes his writings, speeches, sermons and letters, as well as the remains and coffin in his crypt (!). Ironically, the date was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. In March 2007 , the estate granted a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to the center to use all of these items.

The estate says the relationship between the two entities  “has recently become strained, resulting in a total breakdown in communication and transparency.”

“After failed meetings and communications, the estate sent a letter to the center on Aug. 10 saying it would terminate the license at the end of a 30-day notice period, the complaint says,” reports ABC News.

The King Center could keep the license agreement if the Center put CEO Bernice King on administrative leave until the final outcome of the audit investigation; gave the estate power over the use, care and treatment of the memorabilia until another solution could be agreed upon; and removed Alveda King, the civil rights leader’s niece, and former Atlanta mayor and civil rights veteran Andrew Young from the center’s board of directors. The estate charged that Alveda King tried to impede the audit investigation and that Young infringed the estate’s intellectual property rights.

Stephen Ryan, a lawyer for Bernice King, said in a letter on Aug. 14 to The King Center’s general counsel that her brothers have disregarded their obligations to the nonprofit center in favor of their own financial interests, and their actions risk tarnishing and reducing their father’s legacy.

In 2008, it was Bernice King suing her brothers over the estate, claiming that Dexter wouldn’t open the books and refused to include others in the decision making.

This is ugly and sad. Thoughts?

Let Freedom Ring: Women Play Greater Role In 50th Anniversary Of The March On Washington

August 28th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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women play greater role

Source: Getty

As you surely know by now, today marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech. One of the major criticisms from that historic event back in 1963, was the fact that the women were completely left off the program. Dorothy Height, the woman who headed the National Council of Negro Women, was supposed to speak that day but something happened. Thelma Daley, director of Women in the NAACP, told the Washington Post they were waiting for her to speak: “We didn’t know the full story. We didn’t know the dynamics. We didn’t know the inner workings. She was too much of a diplomat to tell us.”

Though women weren’t on the program, their presence was still felt. Gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson encouraged Dr. King to deliver the most famous line from his speech that day: “I Have A Dream.” He had delivered the “I Have A Dream” line before in Detroit and his advisers didn’t want him to use it again. But Mahalia Jackson, who sang at the ’63 march, yelled out during his speech, “Tell ’em about the dream, Martin.” And that’s when he started the iconic line with “I still have a dream…”

Today, in the program itself we saw just how far we’ve advanced. We still have work to do but this year, women were surely involved in the program. Check out the short listen of women who spoke at the #LetFreedomRing event.