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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.”

President Obama Delivers Remarks on 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

August 28, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Development, Education, Intersectionality, Poverty, Prison Industrial Complex, White Privilege

50 years after March on Washington, economic gap between blacks, whites persists

August 28, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, Education, Gun Culture, Intersectionality, Poverty, Prison Industrial Complex, Voting Rights, White Privilege


Watch the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech LIVE Wednesday 11:30 a.m. ET

From WashingtonPost:

When President Obama takes the stage at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington, he will symbolize a big part of the complicated story of the nation’s racial progress in the half-century since the historic demonstration.

Can there be more convincing testimony to the breathtaking advancement of African Americans than a black president?

Yet there is also this: Even as racial barriers have been toppled and the nation has grown wealthier and better educated, the economic disparities separating blacks and whites remain as wide as they were when marchers assembled on the Mall in 1963.

Between 1959 and 1972, the black poverty rated dropped from 55.1 percent to 32.2 percent. But since then, progress has been slow. In 2011, 27.6 percent of black households were in poverty — nearly triple the white rate, according to the Census Bureau.

“The relative position of blacks has not changed economically since the march,” said William Darity Jr., a professor of public policy, economics and African American studies at Duke University. “Certainly, poverty has declined for everybody, but it has declined in a way that the proportion of blacks to whites who are poor is about the same as it was 50 years ago.”

That is hardly what famed labor leader A. Philip Randolph, the driving force behind the event, had in mind when he called for a mass march for “jobs and freedom.” For decades, Randolph, founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly black labor union, had pushed for economic equality for black Americans.

[R]acial economic disparities are mostly unchanged and in some cases are growing. In 1963, blacks families earned 55 cents for every dollar earned by whites. In 2011, blacks earned 66 cents for every dollar earned by whites. The black unemployment rate averaged 11.6 percent between 1963 and 2012, more than double the white jobless rate over that time.

From DemocracyNow:

From CMP: Theft of Wealth from People of Color

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The Economic Immobility and Financial Insecurity of POC

According to a Pew Research Center study released [in 2011], the median wealth (assets minus debt) for white households is a little over $113,000, whereas the median wealth for black households is little more than $5600. According to a study released last year by Insight, Center for Community Economic Development, the median wealth for single black women is $100. Twenty-five percent of women of color have student debt, and nearly 50 percent of women of color have credit card debt in order to pay for basic necessities, thereby endangering financial security and economic mobility. According to Insight[s]ingle black and hispanic women have one penny of wealth for every dollar of wealth owned by their male counterparts and a fraction of a penny for every dollar of wealth owned by single white women.

  • Single black and Hispanic women have a median wealth of $100 and $120 respectively; the median for single white women is $41,500.
  • While white women in the prime working years of ages 36-49 have a median wealth of $42,600, the median wealth for women of color is only $5.
  • Nearly half of all single black and Hispanic women have zero or negative wealth, the latter of which occurs when debts exceed assets.
  • While 57 percent of single white women own homes, only 33 percent of single black women and 28 percent of single Hispanic women are homeowners.
  • Only 1 percent of single Hispanic women and 4 percent of single black women own business assets compared to 8 percent of single white women.
  • Social Security is the only source of retirement income for more than 25 percent of black women.
  • Prior to age 50, women of color have virtually no wealth at all.

[Source: Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth, and America's Future]

Primary Resources: I Have a Dream, 1963

This is an audio recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving the “I Have a Dream” speech during the Civil Rights rally on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. The speech is regarded as one of the greatest American speeches ever made.

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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.”

All Life is Interrelated

November 11, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Spirituality

On this Veterans’ Day, let us say thank you to all who served and protected us. And let us remember MLK’s words that, indeed, all life is interrelated, in the hope that one day the concepts of warfare and subjugation will be obsolete:

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that’s handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that’s poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured; this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.

~ Martin Luther King Jr.
From a Christmas Sermon on Peace, 1967