Black Women's Roundtable Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
Black Women's Roundtable
Building Green Network
I have no doubt that if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today he would be an advocate for the environment. He would speak with great moral authority, explaining to the entire world how the destruction of the natural environment and overexploitation of fossil fuels is throwing Mother Nature off balance.
In other words, anthropogenic or human induced climate change is a sign that we have abdicated our responsibility to care for creation. But Dr. King would not stop there; he would point to the enormous gap between rich and poor—individuals and nations. He would chastise our use of technological advances to create more devastating weapons and process the life out of our food. Above all, he would be heartbroken over the deterioration of the moral fabric that once bound our community together.
Dr. King would appeal to our hearts with the power to touch our very souls. He would try to help us to see that an advancement that displaces workers may not be progress, that borders are imaginary constructs just like race and that we are actually one people on one planet. Life is not a competition to determine who can amass the most material; it is an opportunity to manifest the most good. Dr. King would remind us to “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”
Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
Jazzmyne Public Relations
The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington causes me deep personal introspection. Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy has fueled my beingness on so many levels. As a publicist in this crazy world of ‘entertainment’ it was Dr. King who initially peaked my interest in writing and motivated me to pursue the ‘art of words’ after winning my first elementary school creative writing contest where I wrote about my reflections on him.
I’ve always felt a special kinship for King. I thought he and my dad looked like brothers, and so I quietly considered him one of my ‘uncles.’ We even lived on King Blvd. for a short while back in my hometown of Chicago. Images from the civil rights movement, his speeches and yes the March on Washington, colored and impacted my years as a growing teen.
But back to this wacky world of entertainment I now live and work in. What would King think of our ‘progress’ today in the urban entertainment community today?
Interestingly enough, as I sit to write this, I have just finished viewing the lampooning of the great Harriet Tubman on Russell Simmons’ new All Def Digital Youtube channel and reading his subsequent apology for it. Yes, some comedians actually thought it would funny to produce and post a Harriet Tubman sex tape parody.
Well if Martin Luther King Jr. was my ‘imaginary’ uncle, warrior goddess Harriet Tubman was indeed my great aunt. So needless to say, I found no humor in the ‘comedic’ production.
It makes me wonder though, what King would think about the ‘progress’ and ‘strides’ Black entertainers have made – indeed hustling on the backs of the ‘freedom’ he and our ancestors shed blood to achieve. Would King think that we have come so far that we can lampoon and parody the unimaginable sacrifices of our ancestors?
Personally, I think not. I think that like me, he might be ashamed, offended and even embarrassed, as the recent Russell Simmons’ debacle is just the tip of the iceberg for the everyday antics of so many Black folk in the entertainment industry today.
I am grateful however, that, as the organizing of the 50th anniversary March demonstrates, some us still remember. And as I continue to promote and publicize here in this wacky world of ‘entertainment’ via the efforts of my agency, I reflect on the fact yes, I most certainly remember as well. And every word I write, every client I promote, every thought I think and every breath I breathe is still infused with my childhood memories of King, of Tubman, of our struggle, of our blood spilled.
Hopefully the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington will infuse and inspire someone, like the first March infused and inspired me. We do stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and we must continue to stand proud and tall. Selah ~