Humanity is like a Patchwork Quilt

Each patchwork piece contributes to holding the quilt together, yet each is unique.
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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther King’

Why Can’t Ending Racism be an American Agenda?

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Several 50-year anniversaries relating to the Civil Rights movement have been marked recently – some good and some sad.  The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was August 28th.  Just a few days ago, September 15th, was the anniversary of the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, where 4 young girls were killed.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, I went to see the movie “The Butler.”  The movie reminded me of the human costs of the fight for civil rights during the 60’s and 70’s, as well as the positive changes that were made.  The anniversary of the church bombing is another reminder of the costs.

Much has been published lately on the opinion page about racism and recent events, and one letter to the editor talked about “left-wing extremists” dividing our Country with all this talk about race.

How can we honor the sacrifices made during the civil rights movement, and applaud like the folks in the theater did after the movie I attended, and not be willing to even discuss the racism still present in our society?  The problem goes beyond individual cases and situations – racism is, unfortunately, imbedded in our culture and our institutions.

I know it is daunting to think about what needs to change to make our laws, and how they are applied, truly fair and just.  But that change can start with each one of us if we recognize that transformations need to be made and start with making them happen locally.  The human rights agenda should be something we all embrace.  Why can’t ending racism be an American agenda?

MLK Quilt Quote Only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Marcie


Quilt Inspired by Quote from Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

The Kitsap Quilters quilt guild held their annual quilt show at the Presidents Hall at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds this weekend.  Since it is both diversity and quilt related I want to share with you a quilt I made that was displayed in the show.  Inspired by one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, one that continues to inspire me to speak up for justice.  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Below is a picture of the quilt (18”x18”) and close ups of the embroidered quote.

Quilt inspired by quote from Dr. Martin Luther King

Quilt inspired by quote from Dr. Martin Luther King

 

 

~ Marcie


Renewed thoughts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Recently someone I was talking with told me he thought we should not have a holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but rather a day to celebrate civil rights.  He went on to say he thought Dr. King was a “glory hound.”  That statement took me aback, because I have mostly heard people voice respect for the work Dr. King did for the civil rights movement.

After mulling it over for a few days, I have decided that the person I was talking to must not ever have been involved in grass roots organizing.  Movements need spokespersons; they need to be given a face.  Dr. King was the face of the civil rights movement.  That may mean those folks in the spotlight, like Dr. King, get the attention and much of the credit for work really being done by many, but those spokespersons are an essential part of making steps forward for justice.  In Dr. King’s case, he was an inspiring spokesperson and a galvanizing force for the civil rights movement, and he is still an inspiration for those of us working towards social justice.  As he became famous, he was able to leverage that fame to help many communities desegregate, as well as help reduce discrimination for workers and in housing.

I have mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating: In his Letter from Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963), Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  That still rings true for me.

I have been involved in grass roots organizing and I understand that the organizations that I work with have executive directors and board chairpersons, and that those folks are often the ones talking to the media while many of us work more quietly in the background.   We are not in it for the glory.  We are not working on the issues we care about for the credit.  We are trying to do our part to make positive changes in our communities, and in the greater world.  There is a place for us that are quiet to do good work, as well as a place for the spokespeople.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy lives on with the work still being done for justice.

***  Some other quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ***

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“The time is always right to do the right thing”

 

 

~ Marcie