Monday, January 19, 2015

"Come Home, America"

"Beyond Vietnam": Summons to America from Phyllis Cole-Dai on Vimeo.

Four years ago I created this video presentation for a commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, held here in Brookings, SD. I thought it worth sharing again today, in remembrance of MLK's profound work and our own ongoing efforts to continue it.

Martin Luther King, Jr., first delivered this speech, "Beyond Vietnam," at the Riverside Church of New York on April 4, 1967. A year later to the day, he was assassinated in Memphis.

In this presentation King preaches basically the same text of "Beyond Vietnam" at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on April 30, 1967. The award-winning recording was edited for length.

During the last year of his life, King suffered widespread condemnation and was abandoned by many supporters, white and black, because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. Despite the rejection and the risks, he never stopped summoning America to a "radical revolution of values." He challenged the nation he loved to "come home" from the far country of "racism, militarism and economic exploitation."

Today his call is ours to answer.

My thanks to all the photographers, graphic artists and archival sources for the images used.

Note: If you can't see the video player above, click here to watch.

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