Today is the 37th Martin Luther King Day. MLK 1/15/29- 4/4/68

On Saturday, my friend Joyce sent along a message about the Jan. 14, 2023, New York Times, a column by Jamelle Bouie.  I’d recommend that you read this column, here: NYT Jamelle Bouie Jan 2023.  

Bouie focuses on a sermon given by MLK at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Christmas Eve, 1967.  It speaks for itself.  (There are several sources for the entire sermon on the internet.  Simply search the specific topic.)


I repeat  another recommendation this day.

Take the time to tune in on J. Drake Hamilton’s talk via Zoom on Thursday of this week at 7 p.m. CST.  All details are here.  There is a very simple reservation process.


If we are to survive as a community of people, however local or global that might be, it will be up to all of us, working individually and together.

I’ve always liked the quote attributed to Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

COMMENTS (more at end of post):

from Jeff: Happy MLK day monseigneur! this is a good post for today as well, especially the ending admonishing us that heroes are all around us….

from Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, especially pertinent for today.  Here.

from Jay Kuo, The Status Quo, on Martin Luther King and Thich Nhat Hanh, here.

from Molly:

I highly recommend this thought-provoking 16-minute reflection by a local ( & also national, & international) peacemaker, Ray McGovern.  (see 4th para for link)

He’s a  former career Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer who later turned into a political activist. He has quite an interesting biography in Wikipedia .

If you’ve been active in some of the ongoing peace work/events done in the Twin Cities over the last 20 years or so, you may have encountered him.
It seems an appropriate piece for Martin Luther King Day–because Ray McGovern is such an articulate, knowledgeable, and creative person.  The last quarter of the film talks about Dr. King.

I found myself going back to re-hear various clips as it went along, so give yourself some time to check it out.  Be aware, this is not an upper.

from Chuck: Here’s the best 3 min video that I believe gets at the root problem of EVERY earthly issue we are concerned about.

Today, on Martin Luther King Day, this is his “War is Obsolete” speech.

Compliments of a close friend with media promotion and editing talents.

“Everything is connected, everything is interdependent, so everything is vulnerable…. And that’s why this has to be a more than whole of government, a more than whole of nation [effort]. It really has to be a global effort….” Jen Easterly. Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency’s director in a speech Oct. 29, 2021. [CISA is our nation’s newest federal agency established by the Trump Administration in 2018]

Hopefully, Ms. Easterly understands that our environment is our most vital infrastructure! And human security everywhere is inherently and irreversibly connected to it as well as every aspect of our health.

from Claude:  Yes, that’s certainly a great speech. It’s a shame it hasn’t gotten more traction to actually get people and countries to think more ecumenically to work together to avoid a course of action that has brought us to the point of ever warming global temperatures. I’m sure you’re right that not being willing to work together is the root of every problem we face.

As a life-long world federalist I must admit the Citizens for Global Solutions has failed to bring about a system at the international level that would save us.
As a half-century UNA member I can certainly see that the UNA has failed to increase the UN’s effectiveness to solve our problems through it’s efforts.
One of the co-authors of the landmark book “The Limits to Growth,” which came out with lots of attention fifty years ago, recently took part in a retrospective of the book’s legacy. Jorgen Randers freely admits that he and the others who wrote and promoted the book (from MIT research and published by the Club of Rome, by the way) failed to make their message palatable to government, industry and people at large, that endless growth will end in disaster. But interestingly he said he doesn’t think the failure is because the message wasn’t understood but rather that hearers didn’t like the message
3 replies
  1. Sonya Albertson
    Sonya Albertson says:

    I have been reading Strength To Love, a book of Martin Luther King’s sermons published in May 1964. Its pages are now dog-eared and full of underlined sections that I thought especially profound. I would love to have heard him speak in person.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      When I read your comment, it rang a bell for some reason. Sure enough, in my bookshelf, behind me as I type, is a photocopy of the book, second printing April 1968. I think I recall how I came to borrow this book and from whom, then photo copy it – that’s another story, from the 1980s. But your note reminds me to give it a reread. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. Larry Gauper
    Larry Gauper says:

    I will never forget that evening of August 4, 1968, when I was driving to Valley City from Fargo. The radio announced Dr. King had been killed in Memphis that day. I was on my way to rehearse for the “Miss Valley City Pageant,” where I would serve as emcee. That role – which I always enjoyed doing – seemed so insignificant to me the moment I heard of the tragedy in Memphis. What a loss! I can think of no better speechmaker than Rev. King. His “I had a dream” address is a touchstone of words and style I will never forget. His work reminds me of something said by one of his most ardent proteges, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who wrote: “When I first came back home from the seminary, I was asked to speak at church, and my grandmother and some of the older folk came up afterward. ‘That was a nice speech, young man, very nice speech.’ They meant the words were. Words came out nice. That’s what it was, a speech. But as you go on and begin to really catch hold of it, THEN you start hearing them say, ‘Well, now! You spoke to my soul (like Dr. King). You burned me this morning.’ Got to do more than speak. You can get informed listening to a newsman or weatherman. You got to be moving toward the heart of the matter, got to burn people’s souls! You got to get inside of people! That’s where it all is. And you can’t get inside of them unless you open yourself up to be got inside of. Follow what I’m saying? The key to other people’s hearts is finding the key to yours. Got to give to receive, got to open up yourself to get inside somebody else.” I always remember that when I think of Jackson and King and am planning a speech.

    —Jesse Jackson


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