On MLK Day, A Question: Are We Moving Forward?

January 17th, 2011 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

American schools today are more segregated than when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, 43 years ago. [WaPo]

Some public schools in Georgia and the Carolinas are sending kids to school today to make up for snow days. [ABC]

Chicago’s all-black Providence St. Mel High School, which has graduated 100 percent of its students for the last 30 years, has kept its doors open every year since January 17, MLK’s birthday, became a national holiday. Renowned educator, Paul J. Adams III, the school’s founder and president, says, “I find it the most ridiculous thing in the world that schools are closed to commemorate his birthday. To me, it’s disrespectful, especially in the black community, when our children are behind.” [HuffPo]

Will race matter less to our children? And how do parents teach them about it? By our friend Oliver Wang, guest-blogging for Ta-Nehisi Coates. [The Atlantic]

Then and Now: caption this photo over at The Root

After declining an invitation to an MLK Day event–telling critics to “kiss my butt”–and dubbing the NAACP a “special interest group,” newly sworn-in Tea Party governor of Maine, Paul LePage, backtracks…a little. [Reuters]

Contemporaries of Dr. King discuss how the hateful political rhetoric of today echoes that of the civil rights movement’s dark days. [CNN]

How the right-wing co-opted Dr. King’s legacy in 2010. [Colorlines]


Thanks, John Minh, N’jaila, Marc, Josh, Joseph!

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5 Responses to “On MLK Day, A Question: Are We Moving Forward?”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jasmine D and Adia Colar. Adia Colar said: RT @disgrasian On #MLK Day, A Question: Are We Moving Forward? http://dlvr.it/DX1gm // LOVE the picture on the page [...]

  2. johnminh says:

    I wish I could be reading inspirational stories instead of all the negativity on MLK Day, but that would mean I was sticking my head in the sand…

    Thanks for the shout out, Jen! :)

  3. [...] On MLK Day, A Question: Are We Moving Forward? [Disgrasian] [...]

  4. treyfan88 says:


  5. Hello Kitty says:

    I have been ruminating over this question all week. Confession: I have not read all the linked articles because they will leave me with a heavy heart,for now. I will read them in time.

    Jen you’ve posed very broad questions which can’t fit into an answer box. Questions that need to be asked, that are vital to the discourse of race and race relations in America.

    Progress should not be measured in a linear fashion. There are divergent paths, some detours and side roads, even some retreating steps. The horribleness of these stories doesn’t only reveal that something sinister is afoot. These stories are pushback. And pushback is necessary in revolution and true change. It’s part of the fight.

    The key is that those who are on the right side of these issues must be aware of this ugliness, of the need to continue the fight. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. We must keep vigilant.

    As for discussing race and MLK Day with this current crop of children. It’s a soft battle. My sons haven’t suffered the way I did, or how the parents of their Black friends did. This is proof of MLK Jr’s–and all those who came before him and marched with him–work. On the other hand because of this measure of progress the battle does not ring loud in our children’s ears. Huh, they wonder? I don’t have these problems like you old guys. BUT addressing race and race relations are even more critical in this multicultural world. Note I say world not nation. We are a country of mixed race people. Economies are global now. And heritage is an important part of legacy. Life is no longer defined simply as black and white issues (pun intended).

    Recently I had an “argument” with an older White hetero male, an “uncle” of the family who stated that I had not benefited directly from MLK Jr.’s work. Uh-huh. His argument was that I benefited from my parents’ hard work, the admirable qualities of my native Chinese community, etc. Yes, he linked Amy Chua’s WSJ article as a final argument before I “told” him to STFU. It’s okay, I used direct and respectful language like a good Tiger Cub.

    In my mind there will always be ugliness happening in the world. I can’t change that. I am one person, a SAHM, but I do my part in my corner of the world. And on the internet.

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