MLK Day: Generations Speak

Monday, January 18, 2010

Yesterday, Brian hosted, along with The Takeaway’s Celeste Hedlee, the annual Martin Luther King Jr conversation at the Brooklyn Museum. Joining him was:
Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, president emeritus of Bronx Community College and former Tuskegee Airman;
Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, co-host of Sundance Channel’s “The Green” and host of the public radio series The Promised Land;
Dr. Eddie Glaude, associate professor of religion at Princeton University and author of In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America;
Major Owens, former U.S. Congressman (D-NY 11th) and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus;
Jocelyn McCalla, a policy consultant and Haiti's special envoy to the United Nations;
Jose Lopez, a community organizer from Make the Road New York;
David Lamb, a Producer and Playwright;
Poet Camonghne Felix;
and Patricia J. Williams, law professor at Columbia University and author of The Alchemy of Race and Rights.
Hear highlights of the discussion and share your thoughts on this MLK Day.


Majora Carter, Camonghne Felix, Dr. Eddie Glaude, Celeste Headlee, David Lamb, Rev. Jose Lopez, Jocelyn McCalla, Major Owens and Patricia J. Williams

Comments [11]

john from the office

Alicia I have a JD and Masers in American History. I am just not blind.

Jan. 18 2010 02:25 PM
john from the office

Her comments were that she wants to be taught the same way as if she were white. Don't try to be black, to reach her, it is an insult to her intelligence.

Jan. 18 2010 12:10 PM
Alicia Armstrong from New York, NY

John from the office, you seem to neglect the blame that remains on the settlers of this nation, of whom many of us are descended. The difference between these settlers and the ancestor of many Black people today is that they came voluntarily and have been recognized as first class citizens since they came, rather than having only been granted that status through a violent struggle within the last 50-150 or so years. I don't disagree with everyone taking personal responsibility to improve the situation, but that includes not just Blacks but all of us to some extent. The hole was not dug by the Black man, yet we leave it to him to dig himself out - without our help? That is preposterous. Relax John. If you knew a little more about history you may be more sympathetic to distributing blame outside of the Black community, as well as within.

Jan. 18 2010 12:09 PM
Aquene Freechild from Downtown Manhattan

I was disappointed to hear one caller suggest that young people are not becoming active because they are not educated enough. Yes we need a better education system, but we could all have PhDs and still not lift a finger against injustice. Some of the most powerful activists in our world today cannot read and write; but they see there is injustice in the world and they organize to oppose it.

Action is first about moral courage, do you have the courage to act in the face of injustice? It is 2nd about education - do you take the responsibility to educate yourself about the causes of the injustice you are choosing to oppose?

Do today's youth really expect someone will tell them what to do when it comes to taking action? Or that the activists of the 1960's - having grown up with legally enforced segregation and incredible violence - were better educated? A community supportive of leadership and courage would take us a long way, and education would be part of the outcome.

Jan. 18 2010 12:06 PM
Audrey from Bronx

The young student was correct; we should be helping our students of color to examine their cultural background in order to engage them and create an intrinsic value for learning. However, as a public high school teacher in the Bronx, I know she would have been the exception. She is a stand out. And while there are more like her, she and the rest, are in the minority in our classrooms. Why is this the case?

Jan. 18 2010 11:50 AM
jen from manhattan

Comment on the 18 year old speaker--Like it or not, Shakespeare is part of a complete literary education. I'm not sure whether Mos Def is--maybe--but Shakespeare definitely is, at least for now. That is not to say one is better than the other. It seems downright ungrateful to be criticizing the energetic or caring teacher who tries to interest students in Shakespeare by relating it to something that is currently more accessible.

Jan. 18 2010 11:48 AM
Nick from NYC

Although I think I get the gist of the 18-year old speaker's criticism of the attempt to link hip-hop to Shakespeare, I seem to hear something in what she says which is depressing to me - this is the implication that Shakespeare is not of interest if it's not in "your culture".

By this standard (and, I don't even know that I could say what "my culture" is) I would never be informed by any of the great thinkers and cultural treasures that the many cultures of the world have to offer.

It seems like an unnecessarily limiting and narrow view.

Jan. 18 2010 11:46 AM
john from the office

The 18 year ols speaker was right on the money. Just like when you use rap music in your segments to be more ethnic.

Jan. 18 2010 11:39 AM
john from the office

These guests are more interested in sounding intellectual, rather then engaging in self analysis. Blame oppression, the white man, everyone but their group.

Jan. 18 2010 11:35 AM
john from the office

This is one of the worst segments ever.

Jan. 18 2010 11:32 AM
john from the office

Every year you ahve people on who like to hear themselves speak, instead of working to dig themselves out of the hole.

Jan. 18 2010 11:28 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.