MLK Memorial groundbreaking today

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Joseph M. Smith, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    As I post, I am keeping one eye on C-Span 2, which is telecasting the groundbreaking ceremony for the Martin Luther King Memorial to be built on the national mall. I am particularly interested in this event, because two of the men in the church I served as pastor for 20 years are vitally involved in this. Alfred Bailey was one of the five or six brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha who originally conceived the idea of the memorial and shepherded the concept through all the layers of review, bureaucracy, and congressional action needed to approve it. David Hamilton was the lead architect on this project for the National Capital Planning Commission, and considers the work he did on it to be his finest work (clarification: he is not part of the private design architects, but worked with them to provide design elements that the government needs and wants).

    I am proud to have been associated in some small way as pastor and friend to these men and their dream, which honors not only the first non-president/non-general and the first person of color among the mall's monuments, but, I think the first Baptist! (Unless you count Lincoln, as some do).

    My prayer is that Mr. Bailey, who is now in his mid-80's, will live to see the completion of the memorial.

    Incidentally, who is there on the Board who is old enough and who was in the right place to have heard King speak in public? I heard him at Southern Baptist Seminary while I was a student there, and again in Frankfort, KY, in 1964. What an electric orator!
     
  2. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I am pleased indeed .... Mr. Bailey was given ample and appropriate recognition as the only one of the originators who was alive and able to be present today. Mr. George Sealey, in whose dining room the project was conceived, was not a member of our church but did attend occasionally, and we did his funeral when he passed away.

    I have a full heart today.
     
  3. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    What the heck is a "person of color". It sounds a little racist to me. Am I a person of color? I am kind of an off-white. Is every one a "person of color" except for white people? And who coined this awful term anyway? Is everyone a "person of color" except white Europeans? If a person is half black and half white is he a "person of color" Does the "one drop rule" apply when deciding who is and who isnt a "person of color"? If a black man marries a white woman and they have a child and then that child marries a white person and they have a child and then that person marries a white person and then they have a child is that individual still a person of color? at what point in the persons family line does the person of color rule no longer apply?
    Please enlighten me.
     
  4. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Have to smile a little first at the imagery of "enlighten"! Make you whiter? Giggle.

    But, on a more serious note, thank you for pushing me to be more careful and more accurate in using what has become a hackneyed phrase. I do not know who coined the term, "persons of color", but suppose that it was a euphemism (I have a thread on that topic on BB) to avoid the old, discredited, "Colored People". (Although NAACP has not chosen to change its name). But you have helped remind me that in many ways, "race" is an artificial construct -- that there is not, in western society, likely to be anything like a "pure" race or ethnic group, thanks to lots of intermarriage over the years. Race is something we acknowledge culturally, even though it is indefensible biologically and even more indefensible spiritually. In other words, folks are "black" or "white" or whatever not so much because of their genetic makeup as they are because either they or "society" (whatever that is) defines them as such. And so, to return to my original posting and your response to it, let me rephrase my observation: that the MLK memorial will be the first one to a person seen as other than the dominant European-extraction ethnic group.

    By the way, your set of questions, a neat exercise in reduction ad absurdum, is very pertinent to me, as my daughter ("white" -- well European extraction) is married to an African-American man, and so I wonder just how my little granddaughters will regard themselves. At their present ages (almost 6 and 4) they seem oblivious to race, never commenting that their other grandparents look a lot different than my wife and I. But that will change .. and when the school system wants to count them, put them in a pigeon-hole, what will they say? I think I will teach them to answer the question, "Race?" with "Human"!

    Thanks again for pushing me to be more precise and less attuned to the parlance of the age.
     
  5. Southernpatriot

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    While we are on the subject of PC and what to call other races of people.What do you call a white person who is born and raised in Africa then moves to the US at the age of 25? ............. African American why of course!:smilewinkgrin:
     
  6. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Not to fear, Joseph.....everybody here knew what you meant. :flower:

     
  7. LeBuick

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    Me too, glad to hear you heard King in person. I hear he was one dnamic speaker.

    Haven't seen Jim1999 lately but I believe he said he heard him also... I belive MLK had a vison for this country many of us are just now beginning to see.
     
  8. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    Get over yourself and get a life.

    Joseph Botwinick
     

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