It Took a Village to Raise Dr. King ©

When a Black child enters college as a teenager and is graduated from college in the United States as a teenager, someone should take note of the child’s socialization and educational process.  If Dr. Martin L. King had been the only child in Atlanta, GA to have made this achievement, it could be dismissed as an exception to the rule.  He was not the only child, however.

         I was raised in Coweta County, the next county south of Fulton County, GA.  Dr. King was born and raised in Fulton County, GA.  By the age of five, I was reading the Atlanta Journal-Constitutional in addition to Black newspapers like the Washington Afro American, the Pittsburgh Courier, the Atlanta Daily-Worldand the Chicago Defender.  This was my way of communicating with the outside world.       Dr. King lived in the heart of Auburn Avenue.    All of the Black business activity in Atlanta was centered on Auburn Avenue.  Ebenezer Baptist Church was on Auburn Avenue.  Wheat Street Baptist Church was also located on Auburn Avenue.  It was pastored by Dr. William Holmes Borders, a wordsmith and an inspiration to Dr. King as a child.

          Big words easily flowed from Dr. Borders’ tongue. These communications came from his radio program. Young King absorbed all of them.  Among others, he was also influenced by Dr. Samuel Williams, his philosophy professor Morehouse College.

         In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v Ferguson made a big mistake in leaving Black children to Black teachers under the “separate but equal” doctrine.  Dr. Kenneth Clark testified for the white power structure when he stated in Brown v. Bd. of Ed that segregation is damaging the minds of Black children. This was perjury.  His “doll tests” showed otherwise.                   

         The assault on Plessy v. Ferguson in education was not because Black children were unable to attend white schools. Instead, Blacks were complaining about the lack of transportation.  The second complaint was about dilapidated facilities.  Black children loved their Black teachers.  These teachers had passed the “racism quotient test”.  This should be a condition precedent to teaching Black children.

         In Atlanta, the Butler Street Y was near Dr King’s home.  This institution assisted in the socialization of Dr. King.  It was also a business center for Blacks.  Black leaders religiously met weekly at the Butler Street Y to discuss the problems of the Black community.

         As a seventh grader, young MLK and Dr Benjamin Mays entered Morehouse College at the same time.  Young MLK entered the Atlanta University Laboratory School.  Mays was a brilliant educator at Howard University and could have become its president if he had been able to pass the “brown bag” test. He became the president of Morehouse College.

         This is just an overall view of the life of Dr. King.  Throughout his young life, he was involved in myriad institutions which were made available to Black children.  Black adults, during segregation, were practicing the things that Blacks today are only “mouthing”.  Blacks must go back to move forward. Our future lies in our past.

         In New York City, this year’s mayoral election is critical.  In moving forward, we must study and embrace “Maslows’s hierarchy of needs”.  They include well-established, universal principles.  Before Blacks pick a Black candidate, they must publish a Black agenda.  The already, announced candidates have been selected by the white power structure.

         For the past two decades, United African Movement has been doing its part in providing an institution for the social and educational development of Black children.  It is, unfortunately, the only African-centered, sleep-away, summer camp in the nation.  Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls operates on the “Underground Railroad”.

         It has a one hundred percent success rate in steering Black children away from the prison-industrial complex.  This is a tremendous benefit to black families.  The incarceration of Black children takes a toll on Black families.  Monies that could be used for the development of the race must now be employed to support young, Black inmates.

         Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls was established, a generation ago, to help all Black children.  It is now time for another generation to take over its reins.  To make sure that Freedom Retreat is solidly in the “black”, a dinner-dance, fund-raiser will be held this Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. at the Cotton Club, 656 West 125th Street in Harlem.

         Dr. King used the First Amendment to secure rights for Blacks.  These rights can only be protected with a “free press”.  A “free press” for Blacks is lacking in New York City.  For more than a year, I have written daily articles to fill this void.  They have included articles replete with history, law, philosophy, logic and ethics.

         At a minimum, these articles could have been sold for at least one hundred fifty dollars each. Instead, you received them free.  I paid for all costs even though I have been unemployed for the past twenty-three years.  Today, the press and leading Blacks promote ignorance.  Our number one problem is ignorance and not racism. 

            This is the price that I had to pay for providing pro bono representation to the Black community for two decades.  I am only asking you to support Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls at the Cotton Club on Saturday night.  It will not benefit me directly nor UAM.  It will benefit Black children.  Secondary, it will benefit all of us. All Black children are targets.  Some of them, like the “Central Park 7″ are victims.  

            For more information, call the Cotton Club at 212-663-7980.

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