Posts Tagged ‘50th

07
Mar
15

The President’s Selma Speech

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by Jacqueline

The Bridge to Everywhere

This day, many hadn’t come
But all that was for naught
Because no one really noticed.
Those who came could have
Closed their eyes and still felt
The singular beauty of the place.
Could have still heard the silenced voices
Of the old warriors, and could have
Heard the sound the old bridge made
With the wind softly moving through it
And the shoes passionately walking over it
All voices still silent.
See and hear the beauty of the place
Look out into the rivers of time
Touch each other in
Warm embrace
And feel the beauty of the day.
The remarkable memories it brought
Were enough. I wouldn’t change a thing.
No need to change the name of the bridge, either
That bridge belongs to everyone and no one, anyway.

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President Obama:

It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.

Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about. Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung:

No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.

Then, his knapsack stocked with an apple, a toothbrush, a book on government — all you need for a night behind bars — John Lewis led them out of the church on a mission to change America.

President Bush and Mrs. Bush, Governor Bentley, Members of Congress, Mayor Evans, Reverend Strong, friends and fellow Americans:

There are places, and moments in America where this nation’s destiny has been decided. Many are sites of war — Concord and Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg. Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America’s character — Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.

Selma is such a place.

In one afternoon fifty years ago, so much of our turbulent history — the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham, and the dream of a Baptist preacher — met on this bridge.

It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the meaning of America.

And because of men and women like John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, Hosea Williams, Amelia Boynton, Diane Nash, Ralph Abernathy, C.T. Vivian, Andrew Young, Fred Shuttlesworth, Dr. King, and so many more, the idea of a just America, a fair America, an inclusive America, a generous America — that idea ultimately triumphed.

As is true across the landscape of American history, we cannot examine this moment in isolation. The march on Selma was part of a broader campaign that spanned generations; the leaders that day part of a long line of heroes.

We gather here to celebrate them. We gather here to honor the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod; tear gas and the trampling hoof; men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their North Star and keep marching toward justice.

They did as Scripture instructed: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” And in the days to come, they went back again and again. When the trumpet call sounded for more to join, the people came — black and white, young and old, Christian and Jew, waving the American flag and singing the same anthems full of faith and hope. A white newsman, Bill Plante, who covered the marches then and who is with us here today, quipped that the growing number of white people lowered the quality of the singing. To those who marched, though, those old gospel songs must have never sounded so sweet.

In time, their chorus would reach President Johnson. And he would send them protection, echoing their call for the nation and the world to hear:

“We shall overcome.”

What enormous faith these men and women had. Faith in God — but also faith in America.

The Americans who crossed this bridge were not physically imposing. But they gave courage to millions. They held no elected office. But they led a nation. They marched as Americans who had endured hundreds of years of brutal violence, and countless daily indignities — but they didn’t seek special treatment, just the equal treatment promised to them almost a century before.

Continue reading ‘The President’s Selma Speech’

28
Aug
13

Barack Obama = Hope

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28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring: The Day in Images

President Obama talks with Yolanda Renee King, 5, granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., her mother Arndrea Waters, and Martin Luther King III

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The complete ceremony, forward to 30 minutes for the start:

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President Obama’s speech:

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Excerpt:

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With Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, and Mark Barden, father of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Daniel Barden, Peter Yarrow, left, and Paul Stookey, right, of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary

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Rev. Joseph Lowery

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Continue reading ‘Let Freedom Ring: The Day in Images’

28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring: President Obama’s Address

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Lots more videos from today at the PBS YouTube channel

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Pete Souza

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All posts from the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington linked at the top of the sidebar on the right – this is the link image:

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The President’s speech took my breath away. For once, I’m actually speechless.

Back with more in a while.

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28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring, Part 3

11:0 – 4:0: The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony, The Lincoln Memorial

2:45: President Obama delivers remarks

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White House Live, C-Span and CBS

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@whitehouse: President Obama’s framed copy of the original March on Washington program in the Oval Office

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I’m struggling to imagine we’ll see a more stunning image today:

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28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring, Part 2

11:0 – 4:0: The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony, The Lincoln Memorial

2:45: President Obama delivers remarks

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White House Live, C-Span and CBS

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@Interior: Beautiful photo of the exact spot Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream speech” 50 years ago today

28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring, Part 1

11:0 – 4:0: The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony, The Lincoln Memorial

2:45 (moved from 3:05): President Obama delivers remarks

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Live streaming starts at 11:0 on White House Live, C-Span and CBS

 

12
Jun
13

Myrlie Evers-Williams on Politics Nation

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“Jim Crow is alive, and it’s dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit, my friend, instead of a white robe.”

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See more on Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams in today’s Rise and Shine

12
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

Medgar Evers July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963 (by Sam Hundley)

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Today:

10:0: The President departs the White House

11:25: Arrives Boston

1:45: Delivers remarks at an event for Ed Markey, Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, Roxbury Crossing, MA

2:45: Departs Boston

5:40: Arrives Miami

7:05: Delivers remarks at a DNC event (Private Residence)

8:55: Delivers remarks at a DNC event (Private Residence)

9:55: Departs Miami

12:20: Arrives the White House

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AP: Myrlie Evers-Williams acknowledges it would be easy to remain mired in bitterness and anger, 50 years after a sniper’s bullet made her a widow.

Instead, she’s determined to celebrate the legacy of her first husband, Medgar Evers — a civil rights figure often overshadowed by peers such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Events including a black-tie gala are being held this week to remember Evers, the first Mississippi field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was 37 when he was assassinated on June 12, 1963.

“We are cursed as human beings with this element that’s called hatred, prejudice and racism,” said Evers-Williams, now 80. “But it is my belief that, as it was Medgar’s, that there is something good and decent in each and every one of us, and we have to call on that, and we have to find a way to work together.”

More here

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In this June 15, 1963, file photo, mourners march to the Jackson, Miss., funeral home following services for slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

ABC: It has been 50 years since the shocking slaying of Medgar Evers. The civil rights activist and NAACP field secretary fought for equality on many levels, from organizing voter drives and protests against discrimination, to calling for legal investigations into school segregation and the lynching of Emmett Till.

Evers was returning from a meeting when he was gunned down by a white supremacist in the driveway of his Mississippi home. His death, coming just hours after a speech on civil rights by President John F. Kennedy, sparked a national outpouring of mourning and outrage.

More here

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Francis Wilkinson (Bloomberg): The immigration crucible begins this week in the Senate, where conservatives opposed to legalizing undocumented immigrants will begin a summer siege.

The legislation will both expose and challenge the core pathology of the Republican Party – that recurring tic by which the least constructive faction on any particular issue calls the ideological tune. (A budget compromise to put the nation’s fiscal policy on track? Nah. Let’s hold the global economy hostage over the debt ceiling instead. Negotiate improvements to Obamacare? No way: Better to cast toy repeal votes by the dozens.)

Immigration is different from other issues in a powerful way.

After five decades of using race as a political wedge to win elections, a process that transferred Dixie from Democratic to Republican control, Republicans can draw upon little goodwill from racial minorities. The party’s undisguised efforts to destroy the first black president will cement black allegiance to the Democratic Party for decades to come…..

More here

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Click here to see the rest of the post

07
Aug
11

‘terror baby’

Nope, I’m not fond of Rachel when she’s being poisonously dishonest, but when she’s on this kind of form I can’t help but like her. A lot.




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