This April marked 50 years since the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4th.
Many of my friends and comrades went deep into remembering his life and work. I have been honoring him and the movement through giving time to the MLK Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
We were holding the question of what it means to live right now, 50 years since the
What follows are some photos related to the April 4th Peace Prizes, awarded to Attorneys Benjamin Ferencz (Nazi Nuremberg Trial Lawyer) and Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Institute and National Memorial for Peace and Justice)
My work at the King Center was to philosophically and logistically craft a special edition of the Beloved Community Talks, an initiative designed to bring people from diverse perspectives together, to talk about shared commitments to addressing the triple evils that Dr. King named in his 1967 Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence speech. It was called Together We Win…Facing Racism, Poverty & Militarism.
Working with the creative alchemic force of Lead to Life was the highlight of the commemoration this year. They took 50 actual guns and melted them down to make 50 shovels. Then, mobilizing a permaculture analysis, they planted 50 trees. As they were inspired by Dr. King’s ecological analysis, they added to the richness of the various rituals by making the pain of ongoing trauma of being Black in the US real and felt by all. Sometimes Dr. King’s intersectional analysis and cosmic vision is sidelined in mainstream commemorations.
We must remember that the struggle of Black folks in this country is only as successful as the struggle of the Earth for respect and care is successful. For everything is interconnected.
The April 9 funeral march was also meaningful; I was blessed to march alongside bio-family and chosen-family. Mary Gurley who sang at King’s Atlanta funeral also sang on Monday at this commemoration. I also helped out with an exhibit at the National Historical Park (one image is below). That was a really fun collaborative process working with all park rangers. It will be up until August 2018, so please come view it.
The photo reel ends with this image from Abundant LUUv, a new Afrocentric Unitarian Universalist congregation worshiping contextually in the heart of Atlanta. I think these folks help fulfill King’s dream because they invite people to bring their particular ways of being, melding together for the universal purposes of finding meaning, belonging, and producing the ethics of solidarity and inclusion and ecological responsibility.