From the Middle Passage and Slavery to the Martin Luther King Holiday to President Obama's Inauguration

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Everyday there are those that preach children don’t learn anything from the television or radio. We even had a presidential candidate state that if he were to win the presidency he would fire Big Bird and cancel public television. I can honestly state that the mediums had the greatest impact on my education.

We all knew Martin Luther King was a great leader. For those of us who were not born during the civil rights movement we also knew that Martin Luther King gave the greatest speech ever.

Here is something that you may not know.

I learned the entire Martin Luther King Jr. speech from DJ FARLEY JACKMASTER FUNK.

Every once in a while DJ Farley Funkin’ Keith, (for you original Farley lovers), would celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday (even before it was a national holiday) by playing Martin Luther King’s entire speech in his mix. The first time I heard it I was amazed. I didn’t pay attention to what Martin Luther King Jr. was saying because Farley was jackin that house music up. More and more though as playing Dr. King’s speech became a Farley Jackmaster Funk staple I began to listen to the speech.

Martin Luther King’s words were so spiritually inspiring that the first time I understood exactly the meaning of his speech I cried while driving listening to the radio.

“One day we will not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.”

It took a lot for Martin Luther King to turn the other cheek while the government assisted in atrocities, neighbors used attack dogs, and police sprayed fire hoses against defenseless human beings whose only crime was that they were African American.

Generations of poverty still exist from fathers arrested for crimes they didn’t commit just because of participation in the civil rights movement.

The sad part about racism is that it’s not just 1860 or 1960 I am talking about. As recent as a couple of weeks ago an African American man was run over by white teens who did it because he was black. (http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/17/us/mississippi-hit-and-run/).

Many people believe that since our President is African American racism has stopped. In looking at the numbers today there are more militant and hate groups operating in our country just because President Obama is African American.

We all want to push aside these crimes against African Americans and move forward but that can never happen until we have Congressional apology and acknowledgment of what happened, get the full numbers of death and injustices, and right the wrongs that were done to a group that didn’t have the luxury of immigrating to the United States by choice.

**Between 10 and 15 million Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic between 1500 and 1900. But this figure grossly understates the actual number of Africans enslaved, killed, or displaced as a result of the slave trade. At least 2 million Africans--10 to 15 percent--died during the infamous "Middle Passage" across the Atlantic. Another 15 to 30 percent died during the march to or confinement along the coast. Altogether, for every 100 slaves who reached the New World, another 40 had died in Africa or during the Middle Passage.

The Atlantic slave trade, however, was not the only slave trade within Africa. Nearly as many Africans were exported across the Sahara Desert, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean from 650 a.d. to 1900 as were shipped across the Atlantic. Islamic traders probably exported 10 million slaves into North Africa, Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, and India. It is imaginable that as many as 60 million Africans died or were enslaved as a result of these various slave trades.

These figures are devastating. Yet none of this is taught to our children in school. Not even during Black History Month.

If you just added ½ of the estimated 60 million African Americans that died in the slave trade to the United States the African American population would be in the majority and some of the policies and procedures that have been in place would not be.

Suffice to say we would not be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. just as a national holiday. We would be celebrating former President Dr. Martin Luther King’s holiday.

Just my thoughts ☺

Happy MLK DAY and keep Dreaming!
**taken from UH-Digital History www.digitalhisotry.uh.edu on the middle passage.

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