Friday, April 11, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. estate, Harry Belafonte settle legal fight

Martin Luther King Jr. estate, Harry Belafonte settle legal fight

Reuters 
Belafonte speaks as he accepts the Spingarn Award during the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles
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Harry Belafonte speaks as he accepts the Spingarn Award during the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards at …
By Ellen Wulfhorst
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The estate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and U.S. singer and activist Harry Belafonte said on Friday they settled their dispute over possession of documents of the late civil rights leader that gives ownership to the entertainer.
Belafonte had sued the King estate over the documents that he said were given to him by King and his wife during their long friendship.
The documents are an outline of King's "Casualties of the War in Vietnam" speech that Belafonte said he had had in his possession since 1967, the undelivered "Memphis Speech" found in King's pocket after his 1968 assassination and a condolence letter sent by President Lyndon Johnson to King's widow.
Belafonte and the King estate said in a joint statement that they had reached a confidential compromise that "resulted in Mr. Belafonte retaining possession of the documents."
They said they would have no further comment on the case.
Belafonte, 87, known as the "King of Calypso" for his Caribbean-infused songs, was a close friend and supporter of King, who was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
In his lawsuit, filed in October in U.S. District Court in New York, Belafonte asked to be declared the owner of the three documents and that King's estate and youngest daughter, Bernice King, be barred permanently from trying to claim ownership.
King's estate and Bernice King disputed Belafonte's ownership of the documents when the singer took the items to Sotheby's auction house in New York to be appraised and put up for sale in 2008, the lawsuit said.
(Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Monday, March 31, 2014

WE HAVE A CHOICE

WE HAVE A CHOICE
HUMILITY OR HUMILIATION

by JAMES ROBISON


Let me share first my personal understanding of prophecy in light of statements that often confuse or distort the definition of real prophecy. I believe that true prophets sometimes predict future acts and events or consequences. These messages can be alarming or refreshing, but they are always intended by God to give life or improve life.

There are prophets who may, on occasion, foretell the future, but every believer can prophesy or speak words of life. Paul said in Corinthians, “Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy.” In my opinion, this means that when we speak, we should prayerfully seek to speak words that edify and enhance life itself.

When Paul encouraged people to prophesy, I do not believe he was encouraging us to predict future events, but rather to strengthen the lives of the hearers. We should pray that the heart of God will be expressed every time we open our mouths. We should never attempt to reduce the “end times” to a specific time frame or date. Jesus Christ will return quickly in the sense that He will come suddenly, unexpected by far too many. Believers are exhorted to live prepared for Christ’s return at any moment, always redeeming the time.

All biblical predictions will come true. All prophecies will be fulfilled. The misunderstanding of the Bible’s truth is often man’s finite attempt to comprehend infinite wisdom. Paul said, “If you think you know, you don’t know as you ought.”

Throughout history, from the Pharisees of Jesus’ times to the religious zealots and intellectuals of today, people have been proven wrong. Inappropriate predictions, unwholesome lifestyles and the course of world events continually expose the fallacy of human wisdom. We need prophets today — not fortune tellers and wild-eyed mystics, but exhorters and edifiers. We need prophecy today to encourage believers and to correct the family of God by speaking words of life.

THE GREAT SHAKING

What I share next concerns believers in the New Testament church family and all whom God loves but have not yet received His abounding grace and abundant, eternal life. I believe the following things will occur before Christ returns or “the end of the world as we know it.”

All that can shake will be shaken to the foundation. Those unfruitful things that do not pertain to true life will be revealed. The unshakable will remain, including the true and holy remnant. No one will be excluded from pain and suffering, apart from supernatural intervention.

I am convinced there will be a healthy church found on earth when Christ returns — the true spotless bride, prepared, adorned in His glory, ready for the glorious appearing of Christ the Groom. He will come for that which is like Himself. This has nothing to do with how large or how many but a prepared body of believers determined by God. This prepared bride will anxiously watch for His return because of deep love, not fear or escapism.

God knows the hour. It cannot be determined by time or space, but we do know He will come for a people in love with Him and one another — living in fullness, free from fear, abiding in peace amid storms and turmoil, shining as unfading light in the darkest of hours. Their eyes will be fixed on Jesus; their hearts will be focused on His kingdom purpose; and their hands will be doing His work as faithful servants.

Those outside the family of faith will tragically miss all that pertains to life and godliness. There is no reference here to religious traditions that lack true expressions of life and love. These people, along with unbelievers, will face separation, death and the eternal consequences of their choices in this present lifetime.

Yet while we know this to be true, we must leave judgment, vengeance, wrath and justice in the hands of the supreme Judge. Because of our finite understanding, many things are unclear. But be assured that our God can be trusted with justice, mercy and judgment.

PLEASE READ OR SHARE THE FOLLOWING IN TOTAL CONTEXT SO THAT THE INTENT AND CONCERN WILL NOT BE MISREPRESENTED.

For several years I have sensed in my spirit some awesome and alarming things when I meditate on the Scriptures and pray. I have waited a long time, but I believe the time has come for me to finally share these impressions.

I earnestly pray that the free world and especially America — my home and the land of the free, where many choose to live as slaves bound by appetites and actions, demanding their way rather than God’s way — may somehow be spared the horrendous results such decadent practices have produced throughout history. I don’t want us to get what we deserve. I cry out for mercy for me, my family members, friends and everyone — even those who chose to be our enemies. I don’t want anyone to perish but all to repent, just as the Bible expresses. This is the very desire of God’s heart. 

Please join me in focused prayer.

I am convinced that brokenness will come to the church and to America. The choice is ours: humility or humiliation! Our population will cry out to God on our faces, desperate beyond comprehension, in unity of spirit and heart, longing for what really matters. The whole world will long for peace — not just national or world peace, but peace within. It’s not peace as the world gives, having everything our way, but rather having it His way, having what only Jesus can give. People, not material things, will matter most. Our focus will be on love, relationships, family, joy, compassion and serving others.

Those who claim no faith will respectfully acknowledge the importance of our First Amendment guarantees. They will be accorded the same respect from the faith community. Open dialogue, debate and difference will no longer be rooted in a desire to destroy opposition.

A change of heart and direction will take place in this nation. Brokenness will lead to true character, determination, self-sacrifice and a sincere desire to know and do what is right, regardless of the cost or sacrifice. The line distinguishing good and evil will be as distinct as the difference in light and darkness — the difference as clear to all observers as terrorists flying airplanes into towers, killing unsuspecting people of all nations and races, compared to those brave souls risking their own lives, giving of themselves, seeking to rescue them. It will be as distinctly different as suicide bombers killing innocent school children and the compassionate doctors and relief workers who strive to ease suffering around the world. There is the force of evil on one side and life-enriching righteousness on the other. We cannot continue to deny that evil is a reality, while tolerating and defending it as a mere difference of opinion.

What I share next is sobering.

I have resisted sharing what I believe I’ve seen in the Spirit, not because I doubt the accuracy, but because I long for and pray for what I see to be averted. I pray for a change of heart and direction, for true repentance to occur until our nation receives the truth of God, begins to live with the character, strength and faith that made America great in the first place, and allows selfless love to prevail rather than selfish indulgence.

As I said, I am convinced brokenness will come. Count on it. The Bible says God’s Word is a hammer; its power can break our stubborn will. His Word is a fire; it can purify us. His Word is water; it can cleanse. The choice is ours: Choose life or choose the way that seems right to men and women — the fruit of which is death.

If the current practice of abortion on demand, destroying the most helpless and innocent of human life, continues with bold, open approval, we will find all innocent life vulnerable to what has become the culture of death. How can we possibly expect our lives and our rights to be protected when we fail to offer it to the most precious little ones? We must witness far more than the changing of any court’s decision — we must witness the change of heart that will no longer terminate innocent life, however foolish some judge or legislator may be. Rest assured, our laws will reflect the condition of our hearts.

We have made such an idol of economic gain and material possessions, I am not certain brokenness will come apart from the collapse of our economy and loss of treasured possessions. Selfish indulgences, revealed through sexual excesses and perversion, are promoted and defended as perfectly acceptable and normal. This attitude must be changed from within, and its effect will be visibly manifested in the lives and practices of our general population.
It’s my hope that the church family will pray, seek God, turn from any wicked ways and see our land healed. I pray that unbelievers will respond to God’s offer of life, forgiveness and grace, resulting in supernatural intervention and protection. God is described in the Bible as “a mighty fortress,” “the shields of the earth,” “our Deliverer,” and “the solid rock.” The intentions of evildoers can be supernaturally detected and thwarted. The enemy must be changed or defeated.

We must have God’s power and protection in order to miss our enemies’ plans for us. Without this divine miracle, unparalleled, indescribable devastation is coming to our shores — truly “the sum of all fears.”

I’m not referring to the natural disasters we are already witnessing and the challenges that reveal our nation’s soul and character. I’m talking about deliberate destruction directed by the deadly actions of evil men.

Many times in prayer, I have seen agonizing pain and suffering resulting from a direct nuclear or biological strike in major population centers in the United States. I see masses of people crying out in fear and panic from destruction and death beyond comprehension. There is a cry for help and mercy, for a way of escape, for protection, for communication, for news of loved ones. Comfort is totally disrupted. A sense of total loss jeopardizes our way of life. Prayer is prevalent. People are desperate for help — even divine intervention. No one asks, “Is there a God?” It seems everyone is looking for Him, including those who once moved to keep God out of public life. Many ask, “Why?” Others ask, “Where was God when this happened?”

But people are not questioning the faith of others. They are looking for faith in others. There is brokenness and humility, along with humiliation, as those who once thought they stood firm, rapidly fall. Many high towers crumble. Households and communities tremble in the aftermath. Our way of life pales compared to the simple desire for life itself.

The only strength and hope for the future comes from those who are truly strong in the Lord. The most courageous prove to be the most compassionate; they understand pure love and willingly sacrifice on behalf of others. Their genuine strength of character is revealed, and people wholeheartedly seek to hear truth. They want someone to provide clear direction, inspire proper action and promise a stable, secure future. Prosperity is suddenly defined as life itself, rather than life’s possessions.

The life of privilege and opportunity is a distant, often faint hope, but it is actually possible for those who will endure the unparalleled hardship. For those of us who experience this horror, things will not be the same. Our true character will face a supreme test, and survival will depend on whether we turn our hearts to the Supreme Power, the One who gives life, the merciful, everlasting God and Father, the one and only blessed hope.

I have seen the pain and suffering, and I cry out to God, “Have mercy!” Then in my heart I hear, “I am offering it even now, if only it will be received. I will not force My way into the lives of men. They can choose whom and what they serve. They can eat of the fruit of their ways or receive liberating truth and life-changing love.” In prayer I ask, “Is it too late? Lord, please help us.” I pray for repentance, brokenness and humility, for mercy received and mercy shared. I hold on to God’s promise, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

I pray, “God, break our hearts by the power of Your Word and the love revealed through the cross of Christ. Break our stubborn will. Humble us that we may be mightily exalted as we exalt You and build our lives and future on Your rock-solid principles.”

Only right relationships with God will produce the necessary resolve to fight the right fight the right way. It is only through commitment to Godly principles that we will have the character to make the sacrifices necessary to protect and preserve the truly priceless aspects of life.
It has become increasingly difficult to hear transforming truth when much of the mass media and the entertainment community so blatantly mock truth, promote twisted lifestyles and assail traditional family values.

I am grateful that for the moment we have some national leaders who acknowledge the importance of prayer and faith. It is critically important that all believers pray for those in authority, because they must have the resolve and wisdom from above in order to make and stand by correct decisions. As we pray, we must remember: No political leader or party can be seen as our hope and security apart from the guidance of Divine Providence.

The only way we will miss the agony I have seen is by supernatural intervention — by God giving us wisdom and clear communication between all concerned parties, enabling us to uncover sinister plots. I believe with all my heart that we will bow before God or be broken before God. America cannot continue to rebel and choose darkness when, throughout our history, we have been exposed to so much light. I am not speaking of perfection or perfect hearts. I am pleading for all to sincerely seek to share life, to know love — God’s love — and admit the need for personal and public change. Real repentance will produce the necessary change in people’s hearts and minds, which will result in a renewed national desire to protect all life, because life is precious.

Our laws will begin to reflect transformed hearts of the voters and legislators guided by time-tested, proven principles. The family will once again be defined properly — husband, wife and children. Our freedom will not only be diligently protected, but its benefits and blessings freely shared. While enjoying the privileges true prosperity affords us, we will cherish the responsibility and joy of sharing what we have with others. We will not be manipulated or motivated by greed, but moved by compassion and unselfish love.

A major part of the entertainment community will forsake the promotion of indulgent and perverse lifestyles and seek to inspire us to rise above our natural, depraved tendencies. Their tremendous ability will be used to present great and admirable acts as was Steven Spielberg’s through Schindler’s List. They will use their great talent to present people and stories worthy of respect rather than those committed to decadence.

Let me make it clear: Caring people will no longer be merely cursing the darkness. As surely as light dispels darkness, when the light begins to shine freely, its effect will be visible and undeniable. History confirms the need to defend the faith, but in this day it will be the demonstration of faith’s transforming power that inspires repentance and change.

I invite all who bear witness of the concern I have shared to join me in prayer, in pursuing the God of holiness and in reaching out to others to share our blessings, whether great or small. Let’s discover that the “joy of the Lord” is indeed our strength and hope.
Pray, fellow believers. Please pray and share this message as God leads, while encouraging others also to join in prayer.
10/22/2010
Permission is expressly granted to any person who wishes to download, print, and distribute this document for his or her personal use as long as it is replicated in its entirety and is not sold for this or other commercial purposes.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

We're Minding the Gap, But How Do We Close It?

We're Minding the Gap, But How Do We Close It?


The lack of female leadership in the United States is a painfully familiar topic for us at the Women Donors Network. In my post Mind the Leadership Gap, I wanted to celebrate the tremendous progress women have made during the last century, but in reality I had to lament the fact that this progress seems to have largely lost momentum. We don't see the numbers of women in leadership positions rising in proportion to the numbers of women earning degrees -- and it's deeply troubling.
The Center for American Progress released an excellent report that captured the frustration that we have been feeling, and by stating that that women's "share of voice," or the number of women in positions of influence, doesn't seem to be moving past 15 percent. The troubling conclusion that comes from this data is that despite the incredible achievements of women across the United States, the barriers they face are so significant as to deter them from pursuing power in civic life or in business, and even leaving the workforce entirely.
Women face a unique combination of cultural and structural barriers that impede their success and growth into positions of power, either in business or in government. Whether or not we choose to accept it, women with families face competing responsibilities that most men simply don't face, which often forces them out of the workplace. When women find their professional progress stalling, they often opt to dedicate more time to their other responsibilities. The Center for American Progress notes that 66 percent of high-achieving women at some point choose to work part-time. Such a trend has not been noted among their male counterparts. Under these circumstances, we're losing the influence and insight of these smart and successful women.
This unsettling trend may lead to another barrier for women and other underrepresented groups: lack of role models and mentors. The fact is that leadership in both the private and public sector is heavily male, and heavily white. Women and people of color have very few examples to follow, and very few resources to tap into. The lack of sufficient numbers of public figures from underrepresented groups just fortifies the barriers to leadership.
As a country built on the idea of a representative democracy, we should be infuriated by the way this has shaken out in politics. The demographic breakdown of Congress bears little (if any) resemblance to the demographics of the American people. It's not just gender diversity that we lack, but racial and class diversity as well. White males are only 32 percent of the population, but somehow hold almost 80 percent of the seats in Congress. Millionaires are just 4 percent of the American population, but represent more than half of Congress. This disconnect is too great to be ignored.
We've pointed out time and time again that women in politics get things done. If we improve gender, race and class diversity, it stands to reason that Congress will become exponentially better at addressing the needs of all Americans.
At WDN, we believe that in order to prosper, the United States needs a reflective democracy -- one that truly matches the electorate. We are not under the illusion that this will be easy, so we must collaborate and forge partnerships to break the structural barriers that have historically prevented women and people of color from coming into political power. We hope that by working both on the state and local levels, as well as on a systemic and nationwide level, we can spark the kinds of conversations that will catalyze this necessary shift in power. Because of our deep commitment to democracy, we strive to create a thriving society that everyone can enjoy.
Follow Donna P. Hall on Twitter: www.twitter.com/womendonors

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Civil Rights Pioneer Dies at 95



Rev. T. J. Jemison, Civil Rights Pioneer, Dies at 95

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The Rev. T. J. Jemison, a civil rights pioneer who organized a 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge, La., that foreshadowed the one set off byRosa Parks in Montgomery, Ala., and who went on to lead the nation’s largest black Baptist organization into liberal political activism, died on Nov. 15 in Baton Rouge. He was 95.
Associated Press
Rev. T. J. Jemison, center, was known for his political skills in the early days of the civil rights struggle.
His son, Theodore J. Jemison Jr., confirmed the death.
Mr. Jemison was one of a handful of black clergymen recognized as a leader of the first generation of the civil rights movement. He was a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, along with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Rev. Ralph Abernathy and the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth.
As president of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. from 1982 to 1994, Mr. Jemison ushered into being the World Baptist Center in Nashville, the first national headquarters of a predominantly black church in the United States. But in 1991 he lost much of his church-based support by speaking out in defense of the boxer Mike Tyson after he was charged with rape.
Mr. Jemison was known for his political skills in the early days of the civil rights struggle, displaying a mix of charm and toughness that served him well in leading what historians say was apparently the movement’s first large-scale bus boycott.
Appointed pastor of the Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge in 1949, Mr. Jemison led voter registration efforts, beginning in 1950, that resulted in improved municipal services and the construction of a dozen new schools for black citizens.
In 1953 he persuaded the Baton Rouge City Council to abolish a public transportation rule barring blacks from sitting in the first 10 rows of public buses. When bus drivers went on strike to protest the change, Mr. Jemison led an eight-day boycott, starting on June 20.
Blacks accounted for 80 percent of the city’s bus ridership, and they were tired of having to stand up while some or even all of the first 10 rows went empty, Mr. Jemison said. “We were not necessarily interested at that time in ending segregation,” he said in an interview in 1993. “We were after seats.”
The dispute ended in a compromise: Only the first two rows would be reserved for whites.
Dr. King, the young pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, contacted Mr. Jemison in late 1954 for advice on managing a citywide bus boycott.
“Knowing that Jemison and his associates had set up an effective private car pool, I put in a long-distance telephone call to ask him for suggestions for a similar pool in Montgomery,” Dr. King wrote in a 1958 memoir, “Stride Toward Freedom.” Mr. Jemison’s tutorial was “invaluable” in winning that fight, Dr. King added.
The yearlong Montgomery bus boycott, set off by Ms. Parks’s refusal to give up her seat to a white person, was the beginning of the end of separate-but-equal accommodations in the South.
The National Baptist Convention, with 26,000 member congregations and seven million congregants, had been a nonpolitical organization when Mr. Jemison was elected president in 1982 (his father, the Rev. David Jemison, had been president from 1940 to 1953). But Mr. Jemison quickly began staking out firm, liberal positions on race-related issues, accusing President Ronald Reagan of giving “respectability to racism,” supporting the presidential candidacies of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 and, in 1991, opposing the Persian Gulf war, which he called “a fight over oil.”
When Desiree Washington, an 18-year-old Miss Black America contestant, accused Mr. Tyson of rape in 1991, Mr. Jemison described him as a victim of racial stereotyping, prompting other church leaders and women’s groups to criticize his support as insensitive to Ms. Washington. They also accused of him of being prejudiced by Mr. Tyson’s offer (never received) of $5 million toward the building of the convention’s $12 million headquarters in Nashville.
Mr. Tyson was convicted and served three years of a six-year prison sentence.
Mr. Jemison was later indicted, though never tried, on federal perjury charges in connection with an alleged attempt to bribe Ms. Washington to drop the charges.
After stepping down as president of the Baptist convention in 1994, he told interviewers that he was especially proud of his role in building the group’s headquarters because it fulfilled a dream of his father’s.
Theodore Judson Jemison was born on Aug. 1, 1918, in Selma, Ala., the youngest of the six children of Henrietta and David Jemison. His father was also the pastor of Selma’s Tabernacle Baptist Church. The younger Mr. Jemison attended segregated public schools and graduated from the historically black Alabama State University in Montgomery before earning a divinity degree at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va.
He remained the pastor of the Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge for 54 years. He retired in 2003.
Besides his son, Mr. Jemison is survived by two daughters, Dianne Jemison Pollard and Betty Jane Wagner, and nine grandchildren. His wife, Celestine Catlett Jemison, died in 2006.
Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religion and African studies at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Jemison’s contributions to the civil rights cause were never widely known primarily as a result of a decision he made in 1961 as secretary of the Baptist convention.
That year, the group’s president, the Rev. Joseph H. Jackson, and Dr. King were bitterly divided over the organization’s role in the civil rights struggle; Mr. Jackson opposed involving the church in it, and Mr. Jemison sided with him.
His decision secured his place in the church hierarchy — he remained secretary for the next two decades — but forced him to reduce his role in the movement, though he said he disagreed with Mr. Jackson’s views and would eventually change the organization’s policies after succeeding Mr. Jackson in 1982.
“It’s felt that he had a sense of loyalty to the organization because of his father’s association with it,” Professor Butler said.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Recognize “Lost Prophet” of the Civil Rights Movement

Recognize “Lost Prophet” of the Civil Rights Movement

BY  
Target: Bayard Rustin Film Project
Goal: Honor this lesser known Civil Rights leader, and thank the organization dedicated to keeping his memory alive
Following the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington D.C., when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream of equality with the world, it is only right to remember the man behind the scenes who made it all possible. Bayard Rustin was a social and political activist whose vision and organizational prowess enabled the historic march.  A Wall Street Journal report notes Rustin administered countless details to ensure a smooth protest, distributing instructional pamphlets to marchers with everything from advice to sleep and eat well (joining a list of preferred protest foods like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) to directions and parking instructions. He insisted that the protest present consistent demands – civil rights legislation, jobs, and a minimum-wage increase, politely foiling the singer Josephine Baker’s attempts to give an impromptu speech minutes before the events were to begin.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1912, Rustin was a Quaker, a Socialist, and openly homosexual. He was jailed several times: in protest of World War II in accordance with his pacifist Quaker beliefs, for protesting British rule in India and, after experiencing violent persecution alongside his fellow bus boycotters, for fighting segregation in the Freedom Rides he helped organize. The discrimination Rustin faced from political opponents, who held Rustin’s sexual orientation against the 1963 march, played into the fears of his fellow civil rights leaders that having so prominent a gay leader would taint their cause. Nevertheless, Rustin refused to let discrimination stand in the way of his fight for human rights, civic and economic equality, and peace. His consultations with leaders from Ghana to India led to the creation of various peaceful social justice initiatives. Studying the non-violent strategies of Mahatma Gandhi, his own visits to India in the 1940s enabled him to mentor Dr. King, who had not personally adopted nonviolence until Rustin came to Montgomery to assist in the bus boycott.
For the numerous contributions made to our country and our world, President Obama will honor the late Mr. Rustin with the Medal of Freedom, to be given to his longtime partner Walter Naegle.
By signing the petition below, you can thank the Bayard Rustin Film Project for their award-winning film that vivifies one of the most important, yet practically unknown civil rights leaders in history and join in honoring a man who fought against great odds to form a better reality.
PETITION LETTER:
Dear Bayard Rustin Film Project,
I would like to commend you on your documentary “Brother Outsider” that honors the late Bayard Rustin. As a master strategist, civil rights leader, and activist for human rights, civil and economic equality, and peace, Rustin’s efforts have shaped an improved world for us today. The causes for which he fought resonate still; his story speaks to the power of courage, grace, and tenacity against all odds. Given the discrimination Rustin fought on various levels by his peers and his opponents, he also has much to teach us about fighting for positive change without inviting the darkness that violence and hate bring.
As we remember the historic 1963 march on Washington, often considered the major turning point of the civil rights movement, you have committed to accounting in full what it took to realize such a success. Your work does an invaluable service in keeping the memory of Bayard Rustin alive. Thank you for reminding us of this important notion — it takes leaders of all kinds to make a difference.
Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: tlcnaptown Staff via tlcnaptown.com

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Friday, August 30, 2013

‘The Most Dangerous Negro’



OP-ED COLUMNIST

‘The Most Dangerous Negro’

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The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” so disturbed the American power structure that the F.B.I. started spying on him in what The Washington Post called “one of its biggest surveillance operations in history.” The speech even moved the head of the agency’s domestic intelligence division to label King “the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of Communism, the Negro and national security.”
Damon Winter/The New York Times
Charles M. Blow
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Of course, King wasn’t dangerous to the country but to the status quo. King demanded that America answer for her sins, that she be rustled from her waywardness, that she be true to herself and to the promise of her founding.
King was dangerous because he wouldn’t quietly accept — or allow a weary people to any longer quietly accept — what had been. He insisted that we all imagine — dream of — what could and must be.
That is not the mission of politicians. That is the mission of a movement’s Moses.
And those Moses figures are often born among the young who refuse to accept the conditions of their elders, who see injustice through innocent eyes.
King was just 34 years old in 1963.
As President Obama put it Wednesday:
“There’s a reason why so many who marched that day and in the days to come were young, for the young are unconstrained by habits of fear, unconstrained by the conventions of what is. They dared to dream different and to imagine something better. And I am convinced that same imagination, the same hunger of purpose serves in this generation.”
So now, America yearns for more of these young leaders, and in some ways it has found some, not just in the traditional civil rights struggle but also in the struggles to win L.G.B.T. rights and to maintain women’s reproductive rights.
Yet there remains a sort of cultural complacency in America. After young people took to the streets as part of the Arab Spring, many Americans, like myself, were left wondering what had become of American activism. When was the last time our young people felt so moved that they took to the streets to bring attention to an issue?
There were some glimmers of hope around Occupy Wall Street and the case of Trayvon Martin, but both movements have lost much of their steam, and neither produced a clear leader.
So as we rightfully commemorate the March on Washington and King’s speech, let us also pay particular attention to the content of that speech. King spoke of the “fierce urgency of now,” not the fierce urgency of nostalgia.
(I was struck by how old the speakers skewed this week during the commemorations.)
What is our fierce urgency? What is the present pressure? Who will be our King? What will be our cause?
There is a litany of issues that need our national attention and moral courage — mass incarceration, poverty, gun policy, voting rights, women’s access to health care, L.G.B.T. rights, educational equality, immigration reform.
And they’re all interrelated.
The same forces that fight to maintain or infringe on one area of equality generally have some kinship to the forces that fight another.
And yet, we speak in splinters. We don’t see the commonality of all these struggles and the common enemies to equality. And no leader has arisen to weave these threads together.
Martin Luther King was a preacher, not a politician. He applied pressure from outside the system, not from within it. And I’m convinced that both forms of pressure are necessary.
King’s staggering achievement is testament to what can be achieved by a man — or woman — possessed of clear conviction and rightly positioned on the side of justice and freedom. And it is a testament to the power of people united, physically gathering together so that they must be counted and considered, where they can no longer be ignored or written off.
There is a vacuum in the American body politic waiting to be filled by a young person of vision and courage, one not suckled to sleep by reality television and social media monotony.
The only question is who will that person be. Who will be this generation’s “most dangerous” American? The country is waiting.
I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me atchblow@nytimes.com.

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RWI and Karen Cole

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Biography of GWI

Ghost Writer, Inc.

Karen Cole

Executive Director

karen@rainbowriting.com


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Thank you for considering hiring our ghost writing services. Please visit our site at 
www.rainbowriting.com for more info about Ghost Writer, Inc. We perform affordable freelance copy writing, ghostwriting, copy editing, proofreading, analysis and full professional formatting for books, music lyrics, memoirs and screenplays, and we do many other writing-related services for reasonable prices. We now offer ghost writing services for music and lyrics of most types, for example. We also offer a links exchange service and many other pro services such as graphics and photography, literary agency, marketing, sales, promotions, publishing and/or optioning assistance. We may even be able to arrange a TV show, film, video or movie to be made from your book, and/or we can arrange professional services that present and pitch your work to major TV and film industry executives.

I have won awards for my journalism, poetry, short stories and articles. I am multiply published and have had my own novels, novellas, short stories and scripts published. I am currently working on “The Rainbow Horizon,” a humorous fiction novel set in a small town in Washington State. I have contributed to national and international magazines and newspapers, as well as a multitude of online publications.

I am always on the lookout for new projects and first time clients.

GHOST WRITER, INC.

We are a professional, affordable freelance and contracted book, music, lyrics, screenplay and manuscript ghost writing service. We have authors, ghostwriters, copy editors, proofreaders, rewriters, coauthors, cowriters, graphics and CAD artists, publishing assistants, web developers, optioning assistants, TV, film, book and music producer contacts, etc.

We have access to writers and artists with decades of experience in a wide variety of areas, and we set out to both serve your best interests and make our own ways in the professional world of writing and the arts. We always ask for upfront payment, as we need to remain strictly professional. We will only consider speculative payments for certain celebrity projects that are very likely to sell.

If you deal with us, you will find warm and human professional conduct, as we help both first-time and current book authors ghost write or otherwise copy edit their books as our main services. We charge commensurate to your budget, without undercutting our own professional work, as much as humanly possible.

We ask you to consider our services by providing free samples of our work done on your preliminary writing. We provide phone contact and note taking when appropriate, and expert, experienced low to high end ghost writing in general. We also prefer to do our work over the Internet and Skype as much as humanly possible, although we will help to prepare entire books over the phone.

We have streamlined our website to accommodate the need for search engine optimization, and we have clients coming in on an irregular basis. You may enter this client stream by emailing karen@rainbowriting.com
 . Your letter will be answered - and I will do my utmost to find someone on our team to assist you. When I am available, I will take on your job myself, giving you nothing but expert quality services.

If you have a great book idea, lyrics to write, a screenplay needing editing, illustrations you need done, or a manuscript marketing campaign that needs developed or created, please contact us right away. And thank you very much once again for considering hiring our splendid ghost writing services!

THE END

Executive Director and President of Ghost Writer, Inc., Karen Cole writes. GWI at http://www.rainbowriting.com is a renowned inexpensive and affordable professional freelance writers, book authors, ghost writers, copy editors, proofreaders, coauthors, manuscript rewriters, graphics and CAD, digital and other photographers, marketers, promoters, publishing/production assistance, and screenplay writers, editors, developers and analysts service.