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The Tower with the Power
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I recommend that anyone, who still believes that the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was only a "dreamer" and an "integrationist", and not a creative, strategic thinker, and genuine radical and revolutionary, in the image and spirit of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Marcus Garvey, and others, purchase, from Amazon.com, and then read, re-read, and think deeply about, "Where Do We Go From Here: Community or Chaos".
Since his assassination on April 4, 1968, most Americans, Black and White, have fond memories of Dr. King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech, which was the highlight of the August, 1963, March on Washington and rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
While no one can deny the greatness of that historic speech, what most people don't know is that, a few years later, Dr. King repudiated his "I Have A Speech Dream" speech as hopelessly naive because, at that time, he did not realize that America's "individualism, militarism, and racism" was tantamount to a "nightmare", deeply embedded in the fabric of American culture, politics, economic and social policy.
After the March on Washington, and the "I Have A Dream" speech, King and the Civil Rights movement, aided and abetted by the commitment, political courage and leadership of President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, scored powerful victories with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
But, almost concurrent with these historic legislative victories, urban ghettos exploded in riots, in 1964 and 1965, demonstrating to King, and the other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, that demonstrations, marches, majestic, soaring rhetoric, and even federal legislation, was not going to be enough to change, on a fundamental basis, the predominant and prevailinig cultural, economic, political and social values and priorities in America.
A Southern backlash, against the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, urban riots in Northern cities, in spite of two major civil rights bills, the failure of King to integrate the suburbs, in and around Chicago, and the escalation of the Vietnam War, compelled him to take three months, during the latter part of 1966, and the first part of 1967, to write "Where Do We Go From Here: Community or Chaos".
King's goal was to outline and communicate the 2nd and most important phase of what he called the Movement. In this, his last and most powerful book, King set out the bold and radical changes, in American thought and action, that all Americans, Black and White, in and out of the civil rights movement, needed to take, in business, culture, economics, education, politics, and religion, to achieve what he called "a revolutionary re-ordering of American values and priorites.
Believe it or not, in this book, Dr. King deals with business, especially the power of boycotts, economics, education, jobs and job training, and the need for thoughtul and strategic engagement in politics, especially by Blacks, in an incredible amount of surprisingly bold and radical detail.
One of the major things Dr. King committed to do in this book was the momentous decision that probably led to his cowardly assassination, at the Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, Tennessee: the decision to come out, aggressively and boldy, against President Lyndon B. Johnson, the United States government, and the expensive and murderdous war in Vietnam.
But, at this point in Dr. King's career as a Minister of the Gospel, Civil Rights Leader, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, as he said on the last day on this Earth, he had "been to the Mountaintop, and had seen the Promised Land".
He was not afraid to, as he always put it, "Bear the Cross", so that the Americans, who live each day, working to achieve his vision of "the Beloved Community", could, one day, "wear the crown".
After reading this book, it's up to each of us to to take a long, hard look at what we have and have not done in our own communities, and decide whether, based on the bold, radical, and transformative ideas propounded by Dr. King in "Where Do We Go From Here: Community or Chaos", has led to success, which is community, or failure, which is chaos.
Even though most of us, especially our government and politicians, have not heeded Dr. King's warnings about the cost of not transforming the values and priorities of America, which, according to King, is "spiritual death", if we read and follow his advice, it's still not too late!!!