Martin Luther King Jr Day Protests: From Film to Political Moves

KuyaManzano By KuyaManzano, 24th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

Several events marked various ways of commemorating Martin Luther King Jr Day in America. Most of these events chose to focus on the heightened focus on race in America. Protesters noted that while much has changed, much has remained the same.

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Demonstrators across America also marched to commemorate the day the slain civil rights leader was assassinated. reports how marches pushed traffic to a standstill in areas like Washington, DC and New York City. Activists and sympathizers wish to expand liberties by staging these events on an annual basis now. For most of them, 50 years after the unfortunate event, issues of discrimination persist.

These protests coincided with the Oscar-nominated film “Selma”, about Dr. King and the march that occurred in 1965 at Selma, Alabama to protest voting rights for blacks. The actor who played the role of King, David Oyelowo, spoke before an audience attending services at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptists Church . The aforementioned church was where Oyelowo’s father served along with King himself. In the march commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march that inspired it, marchers are joined by the movies’ stars Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey last Sunday, January 18, 2015.

“The idea is that hope and possibility is real,” Winfrey told the Associated Press about the civil rights movement in Selma. “Look at what they were able to do with so little, and look at how we now have so much. If they could do that, imagine what now can be accomplished with the opportunity through social media and connection, the opportunity through understanding that absolutely we are more alike than we are different.

Cable network MTV then made their stance known by broadcasting last Monday, January 19, 2015, on black and white. The network views this as a step to finally spark conversations about race.

Alabama’s Republican Gov. Robert Bentley then mentioned this event since it fell on the same day that he got sworn in for a second term at Montgomery. He said in his speech, “Government will never change unless we change it. Just ask the thousands of brave men and women who half a century ago marched to 54 miles to Selma, to the very steps of where I stand now.”

Vice President Joe Biden, on the other hand, addressed the events that involved national protests over police killings of black suspects. In a speech he delivered in Wilmington, Delaware, he said, “This is a new day. It’s the second half of the second decade of the 21st Century. And there’s no reason on earth we cannot repair the breach that we’ve recently seen between law enforcement and minority communities”.

Other dignitaries like the First Couple chose to spend the day on volunteerism. The President and Mrs Obama participated in a service project at The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington.


Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King Jr, Politics, Protests

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