Tuesday, April 2, 2019

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (Free screening April 4th at 6pm)

"If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long." - Martin Luther King Jr., 'Drum Major' sermon February 4, 1968.

Oscar nominated film on MLK is being screened at 6pm on April 4th

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated fifty one years ago on April 4, 1968 by a racist white southerner who hated African Americans. There is also evidence that he did not act alone and that several actors were involved in a conspiracy. It is important to remember that Martin Luther King Jr. was not only targeted by the FBI but also the Soviet KGB. He was his own man, and not controlled by anyone. They feared him because of his nonviolent exercise of power.

51 years ago on the evening of April 3, 1968 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. scaled the heights of American rhetoric dismantling the case for violence and reaffirming nonviolent resistance. In this speech Reverend King outlined the purpose of the overall nonviolent struggle in broad terms:

 "And that's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying -- We are saying that we are God's children. And that we are God's children, we don't have to live like we are forced to live."
He spoke of the importance of maintaining unity, noting how in Ancient Egypt pharaoh had sought to maintain control over his slaves by having them fight among themselves. King then explained the failings of violence, even a little violence and the specific issues of the campaign for the sanitation workers.

"Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we've got to keep attention on that. That's always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers are on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn't get around to that."
King addressed the resilience and persistence of the Civil Rights movement to resist water cannons and police dogs, and the restraining order to block the march, challenging the authorities to live up to the American traditions of liberty and the rule of law. It was a radical rejection of revolutionary violence while providing an insightful critique of America's shortcomings and how to do better.

Last year I took part in the March For Humanity on April 9, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia on the fiftieth anniversary of the funeral procession for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  During the march those who had struggled with Reverend King spoke, along with his children about nonviolent resistance, human dignity and the continuing struggle for the beloved community.

On Thursday, April 4th at 6:00pm across the United States in selected AMC theaters, the documentary King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis will be screened. There are free passes and you can get them here, along with the location of the movie theaters where they are showing.

Now over social media The King Center is calling for people to get free passes to see this important documentary on the 51st anniversary of his assassination. Please heed their call. Martin Luther King Jr's message of nonviolent resistance remains equally relevant today.

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