By Jueseppi B.
Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. With Our Lives
Dr. King was working on the frontlines of a movement in Memphis to support the sanitation workers on strike when his life was taken. It was there that he gave his last speech, I’ve Been on a Mountaintop.
Today, we pause and reflect on Dr. King’s extraordinary life and his tireless work to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice. We stand on the shoulders of so many of our Civil Rights heroes who we’ve lost, such as Dr. King, Dorothy Height, and Rosa Parks. Yet their legacy continues.
This August, we also mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, when thousands descended upon the capital to rally for civil and economic rights for all Americans. It was there, at the Lincoln Memorial, that Dr. King gave his most iconic speech, I Have a Dream.
Since Dr. King’s untimely and tragic death, we have strived to advance his ideals and realize his dream for all Americans to have the same economic and social opportunities.
During the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in 2011, President Obama said:
“If he were alive today, I believe he would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there; that the businessman can enter tough negotiations with his company’s union without vilifying the right to collectively bargain. He would want us to know we can argue fiercely about the proper size and role of government without questioning each other’s love for this country with the knowledge that in this democracy, government is no distant object but is rather an expression of our common commitments to one another. He would call on us to assume the best in each other rather than the worst, and challenge one another in ways that ultimately heal rather than wound.”
Here at the White House, we work each and every day to ensure that that our actions express those common commitments to each other: building an economy that serves the middle class and those striving to climb the ladders of opportunity into the middle class; making common sense immigration reform; protecting our children from harm; and giving all children the education required to pursue their dreams.
As we move forward on these challenges together, may we always live up to the words spoken by Dr. King the day before he died, “Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.”
Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama
Statement by the President on the Passing of Roger Ebert
Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert. For a generation of Americans – and especially Chicagoans – Roger was the movies. When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive – capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical. Even amidst his own battles with cancer, Roger was as productive as he was resilient – continuing to share his passion and perspective with the world. The movies won’t be the same without Roger, and our thoughts and prayers are with Chaz and the rest of the Ebert family.
Filed under: "BARACK" The Vote, Black History, Causes, Celebrity, Crime, Education, Event, History, Movie Reviews, News, Obituary, Photographs, Race, Racism, Stories, The White House, World News | Tagged: Barack Obama, Civil rights movement, Dorothy Height, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr, Roger Ebert, Rosa Parks, United States | Leave a Comment »