More on Celebrating the MLK holiday By Grace Lee Boggs

More on Celebrating the MLK holiday

By Grace Lee Boggs

marygrove_SC_0340I am going to New York next week to participate in New York University’s 9th consecutive celebration of Dr. King’s birthday on February 6th.

The theme of the celebration will be “The Power of Courage” and the program which has been organized by Morgan France, NYU’s vice-president of diversity,

will feature awards to students who have contributed to meaningful change and include short speeches by MSNBC talk show host Melissa Harris Perry and myself as an activist and philosopher.

When Congressman John Conyers and singer Stevie Wonder launched the campaign and President Reagan signed the bill to make MLK’s birthday a national holiday, no one had no idea that this would happen.

The holiday could have become an excuse to idolize King as a charismatic leader at the expense of the many thousands of grassroots activists who made the civil rights movement a turning point in U.S, history.

Or it could have become an occasion for fireworks, BBQ,’s and Black Fridays as other national holidays have become .

Instead, many, probably most, U.S. schools, universities, churches, community organizations et al ) are using the holiday for community service, reflection, and transformation.

It’s as if the American people are finally responding to the call for a “radical revolution of values” that MLK made in his 1967 “Time to Break the Silence “ speech.

It suggests that the next American revolution, which will be very different from all previous revolutions in Europe, Russia, China, has already begun.

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