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Youth Speakers from Dream Defenders Snubbed at King Program

August 30, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Fourth Estate, Intersectionality


Speakers, Sophia Campos and Phillip Agnew, from Dream Defenders and United We Dream were told that they could not address the crowd at MOW50.

From The Root:

At least on ceremony, the elders fumbled the passing of the civil rights torch to a new generation as two emergent young leaders were bumped from Wednesday’s program at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Phil Agnew, of Dream Defenders, and Sofia Campos, of United We Dream, separately were cut from the lineup just moments before each was scheduled to address the tens of thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. Their supporters reacted quickly by taking to Twitter, under #OurMarch, and angrily calling the move a snub, which further strains their efforts to gain the recognition and support of established leaders.

A tweet by Alim Gaines said, “It’s obvious, more than ever, that young people have to create their own platform.”

Agnew told The Root he’d been standing offstage on the side steps of the Lincoln Memorial when his name appeared on the jumbo screen as the next speaker. He was about to walk to the lectern when a producer for the program told him that his speech had been scratched. He was skipped in favor of the Rev. Al Sharpton.

“It was a timing issue,” Agnew said. “That’s what the lady told me. People had talked too long.”

He said he was invited by the King Foundation, the nonprofit operated and largely controlled by children of Martin Luther King Jr., which was a principal organizer of the event.

Agnew declined to characterize it as a snub: “It’s definitely a disappointment. It was a little moment of panic there, trying to figure out what was going on. But I’m fine. I’m fine. This is a moment I’ll never forget. I still got to speak at a march on Washington. Not too many people can say they had two opportunities.”

The King of Love is Dead: Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

April 05, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, White Privilege

Nina Simone – Why? (The King of Love is Dead)

Recorded on April 7, 1968, live three days after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and performed at the Westbury Music Fair. Nina Simone dedicated her performance to King’s memory. The song was written by her bass player, Gene Taylor. An edited version of this performance appears on Simone’s album, Nuff Said (1968)

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Why Tweeting MLK’s “I Have a Dream” Speech Now Constitutes Civil Disobedience

January 25, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Consumer Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture, Science/Technology

From Slate:

As part of [Monday’s] festivities, a site called InternetFreedomDay.net was launched. One of the several organizations behind the effort, Fight for the Future, tried to make a point about copyright law by posting a video that included footage of Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. Why? Because, as Fight for the Future’s video explained, King’s speech is still under copyright—and therefore sharing it is an act of civil disobedience that honors both Internet Freedom Day and Martin Luther King Day this Monday. Fight for the Future’s video also explained that SOPA would have made streaming the film a criminal offense—a crime like kidnapping, bank fraud, and downloading too many JSTOR articles in violation of terms of service.

Yet just after 1 p.m. on Friday, the video had been removed from the video sharing site Vimeo, presumably at the request of EMI, which, with the King estate, holds the rights to the speech. You may not realize it, but, as Vice’s Motherboard explained, “You’d be hard pressed to find a good complete video version on the web, and it’s not even to be found in the new digital archive of the King Center’s website. If you want to watch the whole thing, legally, you’ll need to get the $20 DVD.”