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Thread: MLK Day - Create the Beloved Community

  1. #1
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    MLK Day - Create the Beloved Community

    Martin Luther King Jr said at Oberlin College, February 7, 1957:

    "The non-violent Negro is seeking to create the beloved community. He directs his attack on the forces of evil rather than on individuals. The tensions are not between the races, but between the forces of justice and injustice; between the forces of light and darkness."

    I think it is valuable to consider what MLK was organizing for (freedom, brotherhood, equal rights, peace, the beloved community) ... not just what he was organizing against (racism, discrimination, segregation, poverty, war).

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    Though the term beloved community originated with Royce, who advocated a fellowship of reconciliation.

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    MLK is a huge hero of mine. One of my favorite speeches is the Drum Major Instinct. I used to read this part of it to my kids, and my son, who dropped out of high school and wound up graduating from college as valedictorian, used this passage in his valedictory speech. I couldn't have been prouder:

    Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.


    God, that's awesome.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    That's beautiful!

  5. #5
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    Yppej,

    I totally agree. Josiah Royce (1855-1916) founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and MLK was a member of that Fellowship. MLK expressed on various occasions that the outcomes of Non-violence include Reconciliation, Redemption, and the Beloved Community.


    King's Philosophy is summarized at http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy
    In "6 Steps for Nonviolent Social Change"
    "... #6 Reconciliation: Nonviolence seeks friendship and understanding with the opponent. Nonviolence does not seek to defeat the opponent. Nonviolence is directed against evil systems, forces, oppressive policies, unjust acts, but not against persons. Through reasoned compromise both sides resolve injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step closer to the Beloved Community."

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