Monday, January 19, 2009

The Forgotten King

The title of this post is intentionally ironic. Of course, today, we are away from school because Dr. Martin Luther King is commemorated by name with his own national holiday. And just about everyone alive is familiar with his "I Have A Dream" speech. However, as we look forward to tomorrow's historic inauguration, we invite you to compare and contrast what you have learned as a school child about this man, to this particular speech (about the Vietnam War, in an excerpt from a sermon given at Ebenezer Baptist Church, on April 30, 1967) Why? Because:
...after giving the speech...King was dropped from Gallup’s annual list of the most admired Americans and was ridiculed by the New York Times, among too many others. Soon after, he was murdered (Robert Scheer, Truthdig.com).
Although it is over 20 minutes long, you are encouraged to listen to as much of it as you can (it's audio only). We know what amazing multitaskers you are. Press PLAY and have it on in the background as you IM your friends and surf the net ;) Ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Why is this post called, "The Forgotten King"?
  2. Why was this speech so controversial?
  3. How does it relate to our course themes?
  4. Can you make connections to today?
A full text version of this speech is available HERE.

4 comments:

Kate H said...

I can understand why this speech is controversial. Dr.King spoke about the government caring more about who they kill than there own poor citizens. He talks about the irony of the young black men fighting to liberate the people of Vietnam while there liberties are being with held from them. Our class was just talking about biases and Dr.King just like any one in the world has them. He fought in war to give the African Americans equal opportunity and to end segregation. His fight was put on hold for the Vietnam War so I believe that since his speech is coming from place of anger. Today January 20, 2009 will be a day never forgotten, if Dr. King was still alive he would be proud to see that all his work has made a difference and that hopefully give the government a new way of think things through.

Luke said...

I think his speech was so controversial, because first of all many people had strong opinions about the war that clashed with Dr. Kings view. Second of all and more importantly; I think it was so, controversial because, he Criticized the Media in it. It says in the blog post that "was ridiculed by the New York Times, among too many others." I think this could of been a retaliation to his speech. I believe this is so important because, the media plays a huge role of how we view, Events, people, and EVEN SPEECHES.

Kimber said...

I believe this post is called “The Forgotten King” because our memory of Dr. Martin Luther King is that of his speech “I Have a Dream” about equality and not of all the other things that he stood and fought for. Dr. King had more far reaching beliefs and opinions than just the Civil Rights Movement. His opposition to the Viet Nam War was made with the same compassion and desire for goodness to all mankind. As Dr. King said, “Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love. I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism.” Dr. King had the audacity to stand up against the Viet Nam War when it was very controversial. This parallels the current sentiment in the United States regarding our troops in the Mid-East.

Yellow Blade said...
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