Posted by: endithinks | April 4, 2008

On Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man, but he was also a man.  The forty year anniversary of his assassination is upon us and we are reexamining this pioneer for civil rights with a fine brush and a archeologist’s patience.

The struggle for civil rights is still undergoing with a large amount of progress being made since the days of bus boycotts and fire-hoses and glass shattering.  The struggle is still going but the fight is beginning to lose its soldiers.

People now are content with the lot that they receive and many young people are killing themselves and their compatriots in a war of territory and trafficking in a self made and reinforced idea about the joys and “coolness” of poverty, gangs and drugs.

First of all it needs to be said that the majority of Black people in the United States are actually middle income earners.  This fact is often overlooked by media and the popular culture in order to propagate the idea that African Americans are poor, uneducated, but talented at sports type of people.  This is simply a stereotype that is hammered into our minds through repeated exposure on movies, television, and music.

First up let’s take a look at the music industry and how it has torn back the progress made by those courageous men and women of the sixties who stood up for equality and recognition into the human family. 

The music industry is of course about profit which is a good thing.  Profit in and of itself is not bad, however the way that one makes profit is how you judge whether something is beneficial or harmful.  Why are we rewarding companies that propagate the stereotypes of violence and sex in the African American community in our obsession with “hip hop” music.  The black community has not always discussed and shared views promoting violence and sex in blatant terms in the history of African American music.  Until the trend in the early nineties the music in very general terms were either uplifting, or warnings of where the community could fall to if something is not done.

I know I’m painting a picture of angels and positivity, but compared to the music that coincidentally is the largest selling type of music in the states the music positively shines.

More later.

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