Jay Smooth‘s “Ten Other Things Martin Luther King Said”
When most people think of Martin Luther King, Jr., they tend to think of only his “I Have a Dream Speech” and they usually only think of a small fraction of it. Often they will use the speech to make King seem less radical than he was or to dismiss the real work it takes and is still needed to be anti-racist.
So, these are some links to articles about the appropriation and sanitizing of King’s image:
“Santa Clausification” of King and other similar sites
The Silencing of King
Controversy over the MLK monument (because he was not smiling)
Racialicious’ post, “Dr. King Said More Than ‘I Have A Dream'”
King’s “The Other America” Speech
A few days ago, I watched Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child documentary and one of my favorite quotations from Basquiat involved the. rethinking of influence and borrowing from the past, which everyone does. He described it as more of a transformation of ideas, taking old ideas and putting them in a new context.
Basquiat said, “If you wanna talk about influence, man, then you’ve got to realize that influence is not influence. It’s simply someone’s idea going through my new mind.” It reminds me of this quotation from Dave Macklovitch: “There’s no such thing as repetition because every time you repeat something, you’re repeating it in a new context.”
I came across the “Celebrate People’s History” portion of the website, Just Seeds: Artists’ Cooperative a few days ago with a poster displaying one of Malcolm X’s most important quotations: