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The Other America – A Speech from The Radical King by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (audio)

Source: Purchased
Audible, 25 min.
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The Other America – A Speech from The Radical King by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., read by Wanda Sykes, is as relevant today as it has ever been. It is one of 23 speeches and essays from The Radical King, curated by Dr. Cornel West, including words never recorded in public. This is a speech was given at the “Salute to Freedom” organized by the Local 1199 in New York City and outlines his Poor People’s Campaign.

I am on the fence about Sykes’ rendition of this speech. At points I felt like she was passionate about it, but at others I felt like she were merely reading by rote.

“You see, no labor is really menial unless you’re not getting adequate wages. People are always talking about menial labor. But if you’re getting a good (wage) as I know that through some unions they’ve brought it up…that isn’t menial labor. What makes it menial is the income, the wages.”

While not from a Black family, I can tell you that as a women from a working class family, this is no less true. My father toiled for pitiful wages most of my childhood, even if he worked 40+ hours a week. The plague for the Blacks in this country is also compounded by their involuntary work as slaves — forced labor. When you can barely afford food to feed your family after bills are paid even if the labor is honest and hard work, it is clear there is something wrong with the way those jobs are compensated. People in the working class and elsewhere are as equally frustrated as they are now.

Take that 25 minutes to listen to The Other America – A Speech from The Radical King by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., read by Wanda Sykes. All men are created equal, but not in a society where wealth gaps continue to grow and justice is not served. We need to DEMAND justice.

RATING: Quatrain

Mailbox Monday #583

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

The Other America – A Speech from The Radical King by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Cornel West, free at Audible.

In a rousing speech on race, poverty, and economic justice – given less than a year before his assassination – Martin Luther King Jr. drives home the mission behind his Poor People’s Campaign. It is a clear-eyed look at the disparity of wealth in America, what it means for people of all colors – and a message of inspiration dedicated to the power of the people.

“And I say, if we will stand and work together, we will bring into being that day when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. We will bring into being that day when America will no longer be two nations but when it will be one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Wanda Sykes’ powerful performance delivers King’s compassion, outrage, insight, and vulnerability like few others could – and reminds us all of the relevance his words still have today.

“The Other America” is one of 23 speeches and essays from The Radical King, curated by Dr. Cornel West, including words never recorded in public – a revelation for his legacy.

The Martin Luther King Estate has allowed, for the first time, a dramatic interpretation of King’s words, by some of the most charismatic and activist actors working today: LeVar Burton, Mike Colter, Colman Domingo, Danny Glover, Gabourey Sidibe, Wanda Sykes, and Michael Kenneth Williams.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi purchased from Audible.

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism – and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes listeners through a widening circle of antiracist ideas – from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities – that will help listeners see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo purchased from Audible.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people'” (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue.

In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

What did you receive?