Thursday, February 29, 2024
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The ‘Selma’ Lesson

The Gantt Report    

The brutal beatings of demonstrators in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 triggered national outrage when the horrific images flashed across American television sets.
The brutal beatings of demonstrators in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 triggered national outrage when the horrific images flashed across American television sets.

I went to see the movie “Selma”. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the fact and the fiction shown in the cinematic picture.

I enjoyed it because I lived it. My grandmother, Carrie Gantt, lived a few houses up from “Daddy” King’s house and a couple of blocks from his Ebenezer Church on Auburn Avenue.

I didn’t know Dr. King as a child but as a teen, I did attend Grady High School in Atlanta with King’s daughter Yolanda.

If you’re a regular reader of The Gantt Report, you probably know that my economic, political and social philosophy is a little different than Dr. King’s.

OK, OK! My philosophy is a lot different than the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King truly believed in non-violence and I believe in using whatever strategies that will work when fighting for freedom, justice and equality!

Viewers of “Selma” know about Dr. King but they don’t know about Dr. King. All most of the movie goers know is what the ancestors of Dr. King’s enemies want you to know.

America’s devils only want you to know that King prayed, sang and marched!

But Dr. King was somewhat of a scholar. To perfect his change strategy, he studied civil rights and liberation struggles around the world. However, he was most influenced, some say, by the struggle for independence in India led by a small, frail man who preached and practiced non-violent civil disobedience.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi inspired Dr. King and Gandhi was the preeminent leader of the Independence movement in British-ruled India and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

There was a huge difference in the non-violent movements by the two men. Ghandi was supported by most people in India because most of the Indian people were being exploited and oppressed by the British and King had just as many haters as supporters and thousands of more enemies than Ghandi, in my opinion.

I hope most of the movie goers got a message from “Selma”.  They will remember the beatings that were depicted in the movie but will they remember the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that can help you in your life today?

For me, the main things that I learned from the life of Dr. King were about fear and sacrifice.

King taught me that a true freedom fighter, a true soldier for equal rights and justice has no fear whatsoever of his enemies! King wasn’t scared to stand up and speak out. King wasn’t even afraid to go to jail for what he believed in.

Also, to be a true community leader, you have to be willing to sacrifice. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t do what he did for monetary gain. He didn’t live in a White House or a mansion. King had a house in the hood like the people in his flock had. His children, Yolanda anyway, went to public schools not private schools with Secret Service body guards!

King’s children want money but their parents did not! Martin and Coretta wanted progress.

We have to understand that we can’t expect to see movies made about Nat Turner or Denmark Vesey. We won’t see streets named, buildings named or high schools named after some Black freedom fighters because we have to study and cultivate our own history, make our own movies and not settle for what devilish movie moguls want to produce and distribute.

I encourage you to see the movie “Selma” but you won’t impress me until you study the true life of Dr King and other Black freedom fighters from America and from other countries around the world.

Anybody can go to google images, copy a picture of Dr. King and post it on Facebook or Instagram but that doesn’t show any love for King. Certain actions this time of year remind me of people who will burn a cross in your front yard one night and the next morning put a cross around their neck, attend your MLK rally and tell you how much they loved Martin. It is all just misdirected symbolism!

Just eating popcorn and nachos and crying crocodile tears when activist get beaten on screen is not enough!            If you love the real Martin Luther King, stop being so damn scared to stand up for what you believe in!

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