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Wednesday, 20 January 2021


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Believe Ralph Abernathy is in the rear with Harry Belafonte.

"A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true."

Before Google glommed-on-to everything, searching was simple. Today a photo shot by a NYTimes photographer shows up on Google Images with no attribution! Meh!!

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.

- Martin Luther King, Jr.,
The Trumpet of Conscience,
Steeler Lecture, November 1967.

I think you've got the wrong photo up

There is a similar shot in the book “Martin Luther King, Jr. A documentary...Montgomery to Memphis” edited by Flip Schulke. The credit is to Declan Haun This book features photographs of a variety of photographers. Schulke also wrote/photographed all of the images in “He Had a Dream. Martin Luther King, Jr and the Civil Rights Movement”. Flip was a Life, Ebony, etc magazine photographer - credited with the iconic image of Coretta Scott King in the black veil. This later book is something of a remembrance and very personal. I always found it interesting that a guy from a small town in Minnesota forged such a personal relationship with Dr. King.

I met Flip several times when I was working in New Ulm, Minnesota. He grew up there and came back annually to document the life of this city of 15,000. He amassed tens of thousands of images over 30-40 years of the project.

I had not seen this before so thank you for showing it. I am taken by the photojournalist/clergyman near the center of the frame. It would be interesting to see his work.

Year before last, we visited The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis where King was killed. https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org
In the museum is a ton of artifacts about King's assassin, James Earl Ray. I don't think you can follow those exhibits and not conclude that the FBI was involved.
That visit was one of many we have made as we study the history of slavery, Reconstruction and Civil Rights in America. It's a personal thing. One of our relatives married Isaac Franklin, the biggest slave trader in America, who died making her, Adelicia, the richest woman in America and 7th largest slaveholder, most at Angola Plantation, now the Louisiana Angola Prison.
Two other relatives were among the worst US Presidents. Andrew Johnson assumed the office when Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth and proceeded to undo Reconstruction and pardon Southerners. On the other side of the family, Rutherford B. Hayes pulled Federal troops from the South and ushered in the Jim Crow era.

We recommend reading the NYTimes 1619 Project

The truth about America is messy and unpleasant. It is a country built by slaves raising cotton (and tobacco and sugar cane) on land stolen from native Americans and funded by European and Yankee money. It ain't what I learned in school growing up in the South.

American history has been "whitewashed." Pun intended....

Regarding the link to the slavery issues: it may well be a horror story of its own, but don't forget, too, the horrors brought about by different, fighting versions of Christianity. Those, largely between people of the same colour, have fuelled the problems on the island of Ireland, the pitched battles once seen on the football fields of parts of Scotland (see Rangers v. Celtic, or Celtic v. Rangers, lest you think I have a dog in such miserable fights). Then consider the Moslem world, where terrorist religious extremists have killed more of their own Moslem brethren than they have anyone else.

And no, I am not an atheist; I simply have my personal vision of what a God figure may be, and am perfectly happy in my communications therewith. The other, prescribed versions are but other versions created by other men. I have neither seen nor heard convincing evidence to dispute my belief on that latter matter, only have I been force-fed such views by a collection of people with vested interests in their form of belief, and those mostly people in positions where authority can be exercised.

Perhaps the ultimate human hubris lies in imagining one can know the unknowable.


I thank JH for the link to the NYTimes 1619 Project. Regarding Angola Plantation, now the Louisiana Angola Prison , I have noticed the odd name of the prison when it crops up in literature as “Angola” (I’ve read it mainly in Elmore Leonard, I think). In creating the prison at least they didn’t have to apply for “change of use” permission, particularly given the preponderance of African Americans among the US prison inmates :( .

The original lectures, part of CBC's Massey Lecture series, are out of print, but they have been republished as part of the 'lost' Massey Lectures. https://houseofanansi.com/products/the-lost-massey-lectures. The fifth lecture can still be heard here: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2045326624

By the way, and not to take anything away from criticism of the vast slave trade in the Americas, it’s not the whole story. Much slavery existed within Africa, as elsewhere, and probably still does. But also since the NYT account starts with an English colony it’s worth remembering the depredations of African slavers on England for 300 years. Eg:


And the history of English (and other) slaves in Africa:

And currently the plight of the Uighurs in China, which, if it’s not genocide, is at least slavery.

Like JH above, last year my wife and I visited the National Civil Rights Museum in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Outside is a plaque with this inscription attributed to Genesis 37: 19-20:

"They said to one another, Behold, here cometh the dreamer . . . let us slay him . . . and we shall see what will become of his dreams."

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