The circle is complete, the Dream now realized.
Barack H. Obama entered his second term as President of the United States, taking an oath to uphold its Constitution with a hand on two Bibles. One had belonged to the Emancipator, President Abraham Lincoln. The other was owned by the Dreamer and Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
By doing so, Obama signaled his personal commitment to their ultimate cause – freedom of oppressed people and equality under the law for all. He essentially said as much in his second inaugural speech. And he said it on the national holiday observance of Dr. King’s birthday and in a year loaded with special historical significance.
Now that the first openly Black President sits in the world’s most powerful office, things are now normal, and we can all forget the past and move ahead toward a brave new world.
If only it were that easy. Continue reading →
I went to see the Stephen Spielberg movie, Lincoln, on New Year’s Day, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Turned out the movie was more about President Abraham Lincoln’s resolve and political savvy in leveraging the bloody Civil War into a masterful move to weaken the South morally and economically so as to end both the war and African American slavery. The politics and change it started 150 years ago trickled down to today. And for that, I’m grateful. Continue reading →
The more I learn about the Civil Rights Movement here in Birmingham, the more I stand in awe. It took sheer nerve and raw power for those who put themselves in harm’s way to relentlessly pursue the true spirit of the American ideals, even when those ideals did not apply to them.
They truly believed in the Declaration of Independence’s towering words, “We,” meaning the founders of what would become the United States of America, “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Continue reading →
As I thought about what to write about the Alabama Education Department’s decision to take over Birmingham City Schools, the Supreme Court also came out with its decision to essentially uphold the basic tenants of Obamacare.
Now, what am I gonna do? Write two columns? Not enough time. So, I decided to look for the existential meaning of both these events happening on the same day. I got my answer, from a good friend who’s been closely following both issues.
His point is really simple: people don’t like forced change, even if it turns out to be good for them. Continue reading →
How are the death of Trayvon Martin, the Civil Rights Movement, Black history, crime and education connected? I’m not 100 percent sure, but I’m going to give it a shot, so bear with me please. Continue reading →
Black History Month officially ended yesterday, but the message it carries is as important today as it was on February 29 (or the 28th, if it hadn’t been for the leap year).
Black History is American History, so it has no one-month limit. And the struggle for equality, unfortunately, is far from over.
I try to get to Selma every first weekend in March for Bloody Sunday commemorations. If you don’t know what Bloody Sunday is, don’t feel bad. Until 6 years ago, I didn’t know either. The annual celebration includes the re-enactment of Selma’s civil rights leaders’ initial trek across the Edmund Pettus Bridge toward Montgomery on March, 7, 1965. Continue reading →
I am not a historian by inclination. Being young means you focus more on the future and where you want to be when it gets here. But because of several projects that required research into Birmingham’s past has shown me the value of understanding the here and now. Continue reading →
As very connected folks in Birmingham, I’m sure you’re well abreast of the latest events going on across the city as February /Black History Month closes out.
I’m sure you know about Bill Cosby’s two performances tonight at the Alabama Theater to benefit Miles College. The Cos has been in the ‘Ham several times over the past year, working as he can to encourage and strengthen the community with his words of wit and wisdom. A good fatherly kick in the pants and advice can motivate us to do better. I hope that somehow his words can especially touch the hearts of some of our youth who seem headed for trouble, like the sage counsel former Judge J. Richmond Pearson shared last week with disgruntled teens at Huffman High.
But you may also want to check out the free film festival that’s going on right now. For Black History Month, the Carver Theatre is hosting the 5th annual E. Desmond Lee Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF). It’s open to the public and FREE, folks. Continue reading →