Has the USA lost its soul or was it always soulless?

A kid is getting on a freight train in the south of Mexico. Arriaga is the first stop for central american migrants on their way to the US.–Photo by Encarni Pinda.

The USA gained independence from England, arguing that “taxation without representation” was intolerable. Stealing land from Native American Indians and Mexicans, the country expanded its borders. Destroying black families through the scourge of slavery, raping slaves to create a free labor force and destroy black male pride, the USA became rich from the labor, land and livelihoods of disenfranchised people now viewed as the American underclass.

Some blacks celebrated Juneteenth, the official end of slavery, yesterday. Others declined, insisting that slavery is still alive and well, albeit in other forms. Even as racist Republicans obstructed former President Barack Obama during six of his eight years in office, bigots have risen up in droves with the election of the current US President. Blacks are being targeted for arrest and police abuse while engaging in the most routine activities–sitting in a coffee shop, trying to play golf, having a barbecue in a park  and taking a nap in the common room of a prestigious university.

During slavery, Jim Crow and even the Civil Rights era, blacks were treated as sub-human chattel. Raped, beaten and lynched with impunity, black residents of the United States of America were brutalized, often for white residents’ enjoyment. The anger that has festered among many Americans, who were incensed that a black man was elected president, has erupted into state-sanctioned lawlessness.

The debacle involving children separated from their parents at the border and housed in cages akin to concentration camps is no different from the Middle Passage and slavery, when black children were torn from terrified, broken parents. Africans were captured, packed like sardines on ships, some jumping overboard along the way while others died from diseases. Those who survived were shaved, shined with oil, examined publicly and auctioned off to wicked slave owners.

The trauma that the border children are experiencing will last a lifetime, much like black trauma in America has continued with no end in sight. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Too many immigrants have become complacent because they have made it, turning a blind eye to the plight of the children at the border, blacks in every facet of the American experience, Haitians who are cast off and a myriad of suffering globally. But, like late revolutionary firebrand Malcolm X often cried, “by any means necessary” the fight for human rights must go on.

The USA lost its soul many generations ago. In fact, one might rightly ask: Did the USA ever have a soul in the first place?–OnPointPress.net–

Thanks for your Impact, President Obama

As President Barack Obama leaves office to make way for the President-elect to be sworn in, it’s fitting to reflect on the strong impact that he has had during his eight years in office.

President Obama inherited a grave recession, and, despite coordinated obstructionism from a Republican-led Congress, he oversaw consistent job-creation every year since his tenure.

President Obama and his daughters go book shopping.

He provided universal healthcare coverage, engaged in regular talks on racial divide, got rid of Osama Bin Laden, promoted women’s rights, launched My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to provide training and job creation for Black and Latino young men, championed sensible gun control laws, among many other notable achievements.

President Obama and his family, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia and their dogs.

Although he was disrespected repeatedly during his time in office, President Obama was the epitome of class. He was chic, cool, balanced, knowledgeable and forgiving.

I know I’m among  many who will miss him as well as they example that his family set for the country. So I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to a President who made me proud.

Thank you President Obama. May God continue to guide and protect you and your family–OnPointPress.net–

Protests, bigotry, fear, hate fuel post-election acts

Dismayed protesters make their voices heard at Trump Tower in New York.

Dismayed protesters make their voices heard at Trump Tower, as they march, scream, cry and remain dazed at the shocking election results.

By Carmen and Charles Glover

As the streets of America continue to roil with protesters marching to voice their sense of disgust with the election results of Nov 8,, which saw a split outcome–former secretary of state Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, meaning she had more votes cast for her–and President-elect Donald Trump winning the electoral college that ultimately determines the president, the psyche of the American populace continues to be exceedingly unsettled,

Protesters are consistent with their message.

Protesters are consistent with their message of concern for a broad swath of residents who were targeted by President-elect Donald Trump at various points during the election cycle.

The results of the election were shocking to many people in and out of the United States with millions of millennials who were angry that Senator Bernie Sanders lost to Clinton deciding to vote for Trump or to abstain from voting, only to have a change of heart the morning after, just like the British reaction after their Brexit vote. Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, he will be the 45th President of the United States. Reactions around the country to the election results are varied but passionate. The question many are asking is: What’s next?

Anti-Trump Protests have sprung up across the country with no signs of abating.

Anti-Trump Protests have sprung up across the country with no signs of abating as Americans give voice to their feelings of anger, despair, fear, hopelessness and disappointment.

In 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was brutally frank as his summed up his plan for Republicans should they assume control of the Senate.

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he declared, staring intently into the television cameras as the media snapped away.

Clearly that was not a message calling for cooperation or understanding. In 2012 after President Obama was re-elected, current President-elect Donald Trump stated that President Obama’s re-election was a “total sham and a travesty…. We are not a democracy!”

Protester is not shy to express her feelings.

Protester is not shy to express her feelings, while others march, shout and take selfies.

The consistent tendency of Republicans when they do not get their way is to complain about the legitimacy of the results, threaten anarchy and collaborate among themselves to put the country on a path to peril, ruin, racism and volatility. Their approach is:The Republican way or vengeance, spite, suffering, racism, insults and pain.

However, now that a Republican candidate has won the election, the same hypocritical and two-faced Republicans are demanding that the rest of the electorate show understanding and accept the results, without giving voice to the collective trauma, shock and despair that the mere thought of a President Donald Trump holds for so many people.

Protesters give voice to their anguish.

Protesters give voice to their anguish, some waving their gay pride flags as they walk somberly.

Trump becoming President will not address the many ills that plague our society: Issues such as economic, healthcare, housing and educational disparity, systemic racism, judicial prejudice and the expanding school-to-prison pipeline that puts young black children on a path to prison through excessive and prejudicial suspensions that ultimately result in them dropping out of school and taking to lives in the streets.

Trump’s disdain for the poor and disenfranchised is legendary and was on full display throughout the election cycle. Nevertheless, both white men and women as well as a large Latino segment, voted overwhelmingly for the real estate businessman, reality star and serial insult generator.

Protesters at Trump Tower.

Protesters at Trump Tower, express their feelings of hurt, disappoint and fear due to the election results.

But while his supporters are quick to suggest that everyone else accept Trump, the protesters are very united in chanting “Not my president” and “We reject the president-elect,” as tears stream down their faces and the heartbreak they feel renders them hopeless, scared and inconsolable.

In dismissing Trump, retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Trump “fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate,” and described him as a “sexual predator who lost the popular vote.”

Anger, Anguish and Despair are etched across the faces of protesters as they voice their displeasure with the election results.

Anger, anguish and despair are etched across the faces of protesters as they voice their displeasure with the election results.

Not to be outdone, the usually reticent San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich did not mince words, and said the following:

“We live in a country that ignored all those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, a woman, or an African-American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all that. My big fear is that we are Rome.”

Protesters show no signs of slowing down as they try to come to terms with the election results.

Protesters show no signs of slowing down as they try to come to terms with the election results.

While Clinton licks her wounds and examines the entire scope of why she lost the electoral college and presidency–her deep-seated arrogance, her inability to appeal to the masses despite Herculean campaign efforts by an impressive cadre of supporters including President and First Lady Obama, her primary opponent Senator Bernie Sanders, VP Joe Biden and a host of celebrities, her lack of trustworthiness and most significantly, issues outside of her control such as the campaign waged by legislative Republicans with assistance from FBI Director James Comey, white women refusing to support her despite African-American women and African-American men enveloping her in love and support—Trump has been busy meeting with President Obama and the Republican leaders.

Now that all branches of the government–executive, legislative and judiciary—are in Republican hands, let us sit back and watch where they take the country that President Obama brought back from recession, the country that President Obama’s efforts resulted in universal healthcare, a country that is caught up in a cycle of racism and hatred, a country where intolerance and bigotry have been unleashed with abandon because the chief proponent of those divisive and ugly sentiments will now hold the top title in the land.

Yes, let us watch, let us support those who protest, let us have dialogue, let us learn to advocate for our issues, our agendas and our communities–OnPointPress-net– 

 

Where do you stand when it matters most?

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference after a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

In an ironic twist, the same night and weekend that the late boxing legend, humanitarian and peace prophet Muhammad Ali was laid to rest following an interfaith ceremony and public displays of adoration, the nation was thrust into mourning due to acts of domestic terrorism.

Former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimme, 22, was murdered after performing at a concert in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, June 10, by Kevin James Loibl, 27, who traveled from St. Petersburg with two guns. He killed himself after murdering Grimme. According to reports, he did not know Grimme. In the wee hours of Sunday, June 12, Omar Mateen, 29, of  Fort Pierce, a trained security guard, unleashed a fusillade of bullets on revelers at gay club Pulse, also in Orlando, killing 50 and injuring 53.

Grief-stricken shooting victims comfort each other as they try to cope with the trauma they experienced.

Grief-stricken shooting victims comfort each other as they try to cope with the trauma they experienced as a result of the massacre inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

As loved one flocked to the streets to learn the fate of the victims, elected officials took to the airwaves to share their views, extend condolences and, in the case of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Texas, tweet unsparingly “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” in reference to the lifestyle embraced by the victims. Calling the massacre “an act of violence and hate,” President Barack Obama ordered all flags around the nation to be flown at half staff in honor of the victims.

Ali was admired and celebrated in life and in death for taking a principled stand against the Vietnam War. He was unapologetic and willing to accept any consequence associated with his position. Some responded with hate and anger, while African-Americans stood taller, in awe of a man who risked it all at the height of his career and in the prime of his youth.

Omar Mateen, who was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, killed 53 people enjoying themselves at Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, on 6/12, 2016. He was killed by police.

Omar Mateen, who was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan, killed 53 people enjoying themselves at Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, on 6/12, 2016. He was killed by police.

Where do you stand when it matters most? Today, that’s an increasingly difficult question to answer. Individuals, whether they are famous athletes, so-called celebrities, professionals or the everyday person, are reluctant to take a stand on principle. As wall to wall coverage of the Pulse massacre continues unabated, Ali’s boldness, sense of integrity and unwavering commitment to his principles stand out more than ever.

Kevin James Loibl gunned down singer Christina Grimme as she signed autographs after performing in Orlando, Florida on June 10, 2016.

Kevin James Loibl gunned down singer Christina Grimme as she signed autographs after performing in Orlando, Florida on June 10, 2016.

Today’s athletes are too politically correct and focused on money to take a stand and mean it; celebrities are more concerned with garnering followers and vacuous publicity rather than influencing others and cementing a legacy; many professionals are too complacent and devoid of passion to shape their brand around principles that define them.

But as details filter out about Mateen’s 911 call to pledge allegiance to ISIS prior to the bloodbath he inflicted at Pulse, and investigations continue into unearthing the motives of both killers, it bears asking: What defines me? What drives my sense of integrity? What are my principles? Where do I stand when it matters most? The answers to those question could shape the future of our society as a whole, while building the character of every individual so that, like Ali, we all aspire to be greater than we ever envisioned.–OnPointPress.net-

Pope Francis tackles issues that resonate with the masses

Pope Francis greets a multi-ethnic group of five children on the tarmac in New York City.

Pope Francis greets a multi-ethnic group of five children on the tarmac in New York City.

There has been a palpable air of excitement even for non-Catholics as Pope Francis mingles with the populace on American shores and addressed concerns that span generations.

President Obama greets Pope Francis.

President Obama greets Pope Francis.

Speaking on the White House lawn during a welcoming ceremony, the Pope evoked the words of iconic Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he said it was time to collect on the unpaid “promissory note.”

Pope Francis takes pictures with worshippers in Washington D.C.

Pope Francis takes pictures with worshippers in Washington D.C.

Addressing Congress, Pope Francis tackled climate change, immigration, poverty, homelessness and the importance of being kind to one another. He also referenced King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, 50 years ago, while Rep. John Lewis applauded

At St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, he talked about the scourge of priests and other Catholic officials sexually molesting and preying on vulnerable children.

Pope Francis addresses Congress.

Pope Francis addresses Congress.

And all the while, the Pope has made it abundantly clear that his heart belongs to the common man. He has chosen to ride around in a tiny Fiat, blanketed by enormous SUVs that make up his security detail.

The Pope is flanked by an impenetrable security detail in New York City.

Pope Francis is flanked by an impenetrable security detail in New York City.

The Pope has blessed believers, charmed children, talked with dignitaries while making his message of love, compassion for others and humility the focus of presentations.

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As Pope Francis continues with his US trip, his mere presence provides a soothing reminder that religious leaders who take an oath of service need to focus on tending to their flock, rather than being seduced by the trappings of power.–OnPointPress.net.

Have a restful, happy Labor Day, but plan for the future

Happy Labor Day.

Happy Labor Day but as you relax, take time to plan for the future.

The OnPointPress.net family extends Labor Day greetings to all of our readers and supporters.

We hope you will use the day to rest, while making plans to be more productive and successful in the future. As the national unemployment dips to 5.1 percent, we celebrate the strides that President Barack Obama has made, despite opposition from Congress, in strengthening the economy and improving the circumstances for workers.

African-Americans continue to face challenges in obtaining the right employment fit.

African-Americans continue to face challenges in obtaining the right employment fit.

However, across the USA, too many people are working part-time even though they would like to get full-time opportunities. Also, in right to work state like Georgia, too many people are under-employed, underpaid and are compelled to work as independent contractors or in short-term temporary assignments. This trend is most notable in the African-American community.

Employees need job and earning security in order to realistically prepare for the future. For some, this means creating wealth and opportunities by launching their own businesses. Whatever your employment circumstances are on this Labor Day, take some time to be thankful while also plan for the future by utilizing reports on job trends. Happy Labor Day–OnPointPress.net.

 

Joseph R. Biden III, 46, son of Vice President Joe Biden, succumbs to brain cancer

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of U.S. Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, died on Saturday, May 30, 2015 of brain cancer.beau

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of U.S. Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, died on Saturday, May 30, 2015 of brain cancer.beau

By Carmen Glover

Vice President of the United States Joe Biden announced a tonight that his oldest son, Major Joseph R. (Beau) Biden, former Attorney General for Delaware, has died from brain cancer. He was 46 years old.

In a statement Vice President Biden said: “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother, and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity , courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.”

Vice President Joe Biden embraces his son Beau.

Vice President Joe Biden embraces his son Beau.

The vice president lost his first wife, Neilia and 13-month-old daughter Naomi in a car accident in 1972. Beau and his brother Hunter, survived the crash despite sustaining injuries. Beau served in the National Guard and is survived by his wife Hallie and two children.

In a statement President Obama said: “Michelle and I are grieving tonight. Beau Biden was a friend of ours. His beloved family—Hallie, Natalie and Hunter–are friends of ours. And Joe and Jill Biden are as food as friends get.

Beau Biden with his family.

Beau Biden with his family.

“Beau took after Joe. He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school. He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware’s Attorney General. Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of al he touched–and he lives on in their hearts.

“But for all that Beau achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family. Just like his dad.

“Joe is one of the strongest men we’ve ever known. He’s as strong as they come, and nothing matters to him more than family. It is one of the things we love about him. And it is a testament to Joe and Jill–to who they are–that Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered; a life that reflected their reverence for family.

VP President talks to his son, US Army Captain Beau Biden.

VP President talks to his son, US Army Captain Beau Biden.

“The Bidens have more family that they know. In the Delaware they love. in the Senate Joe reveres.  Across  this country that he has served for more than forty years. And they have a family right here in the White House, where hundreds of hearts ache tonight –for Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter; for Joe and for Jill; for Beau’s brother, Hunter; his sister, Ashley; and for the entire Biden clan.

“I have believed the best of every man,” wrote the poet William Butler Yeats, “And find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher.”

“Beau Biden believed in the best of us all. For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher.

“Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth.”–OnPointPress.net.

After a marathon wait, Loretta Lynch is sworn in as U.S. Attorney General on 4/27

Impeccably qualified attorney Loretta Lynch will be sworn in today as US Attorney General, succeeding Eric Holder who served with distinction and dignity under pressure.

Impeccably qualified attorney Loretta Lynch will be sworn in today as US Attorney General, succeeding Eric Holder who served with distinction and dignity under pressure.

By Carmen Glover

The wait for the impeccably qualified Brooklyn U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch to be sworn in as U.S. Attorney General, the top legal officer in the United States, ends today, April 27 when she is officially sworn in after her confirmation was deliberately held up by intractable Republicans for 166 days, a total of five months. Lynch becomes the first African-American female to hold the office of U.S. Attorney General, succeeding Eric Holder, who was the first African-American male in the position. Holder announced his resignation last fall but agreed to remain in office until his successor is sworn in, at the request of President Barack Obama.

Praising the confirmation, President Obama said that Lynch “has credibility with law enforcement and communities.” New York’s Senior Senator Chuck Schumer said: “I am confident she will be an exemplary attorney general and will bring disparate parts of communities across the country together, just as she did in Brooklyn.”

Citing disagreement over abortion language in a sex trafficking bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring Lynch’s confirmation vote to the Senate floor until Democrats came to terms with language over the bill. Mitchell ignored calls from President Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), members of the media, civil leaders and everyday Americans who were disgusted by the political grandstanding that relegated Lynch’s confirmation to the bottom of the Senate schedule.

Out-going US Attorney General Eric Holder has been a champion of Voting Rights, Civil Rights and justice for victims of police brutality.

Out-going US Attorney General Eric Holder has been a champion of Voting Rights, Civil Rights and justice for victims of police brutality.

Journalist Roland Martin of TVOne led a group of African-American men to the Capitol to demand a vote, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry demanded the vote each weekend on her show, and President Obama spoke out each chance he got.  Finally McConnell heeded the crescendo of calls and scheduled the vote on Thursday, April 23, when Lynch was promptly confirmed.

A relieved outgoing US Attorney Holder, who has been wearing ‘Free Eric Holder’ hand bands, said at a press conference on Friday, “I think we can officially say that Eric Holder is free,” as he threw the bands into the crowd. Addressing the issue of the Justice Department’s role in investigation police brutality and racial cases he said: “We are a nation that incarcerates too many people for too long and through the work of people in this department we are starting to reverse that trend.”

Her swearing-in has been a long time coming for the distinguished legal eagle who has been confirmed by the Senate twice before. Lynch was confirmed with a vote of 56-43, with ten Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in supporting her. Senator Ted Cruz, who lobbied fellow Republicans to vote against Lynch because she said she supports the President’s executive orders on immigration, skipped the confirmation vote.–OnPointPress.net.

Selma’s Bloody Sunday revisited 50 years later with voting rights imperiled

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President Barack Obama and the First Family join civil rights icons Rep. John Lewis, Amelia Boynton Robinson (in wheelchair), US Attorney General Eric Holder, Former President and First Lady George W. and Laura Bush, and thousands of marchers in crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on Saturday, March 7, 2015.

By Carmen Glover

On Saturday, March 7, on the 50th Anniversary of the Bloody Sunday attacks unleashed on marchers supporting the right of African-Americans to vote in the United States, President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American President, delivered a rousing speech at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for a Ku Klux Klan leader.

President Obama and Rep. John Lewis embrace in Selma, AL.

President Obama and Rep. John Lewis embrace in Selma, AL.

Speaking after Rep. John Lewis, who was brutally beaten at the same bridge 50 years ago when he lead a group of marchers, President Obama stated:  “Our march is not yet finished but we’re getting closer.” President Obama decried injustice in education, law enforcement, and the attacks on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 stating “If we want to honor this day, let Congress restore the Voting Rights Act this year!” But he also chided residents for the chronic low voter turnout despite the struggles of civil rights activists “who gave their blood” to win the right to vote. Click here for the full transcript of President Obama’s speech as provided by Time magazine.

A rapt crowd listens as President Obama speaks in Selma, AL.

A rapt crowd listens as President Obama speaks in Selma, AL.

After the speech, the President, joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, their children, former President and First Lady George W. and Laura Bush, Rep. John Lewis, US Attorney General Eric Holder, 100 members of Congress and thousands of enthusiastic supporters who came to bear witness to the 50-year commemoration of the march for voting rights, marched across the bridge in a poignant reflection of a journey that began decades ago and achieved numerous goals, with many unfinished ideals left to be realized. Meanwhile, in New York City, hundreds of citizens marched across the Brooklyn Bridge from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Borough Hall in solidarity with the Selma 50 marchers

Peaceful marchers were left beaten, bloody and killed on March 7, 1965 as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in their quest to gain the right to vote.

Peaceful marchers, including Rep. John Lewis (center being beaten), were left beaten, bloody and killed on March 7, 1965 as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in their quest to gain the right to vote.

The march from Selma, to Montgomery, Alabama took place after three attempts, including Bloody Sunday, which occurred on March 7, 1965 when marchers were beaten with clubs, attacked by dogs and some killed, as they attempted to cross the bridge. After making an appeal for support, Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr., was joined by Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young, Diane Nash, other civil rights activists and a phalanx of religious leaders from different faiths in making the 50-plus mile trek to the State Capital in Montgomery, Alabama. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act later that year but recent changes have destroyed some of the provisions of the Voting Rights Act, leading to an increase in voter suppression incidents aimed at denying or restricting the right of African-Americans to vote.–OnPointPress.net.

“Selma” is a fitting tribute to Dr. King’s legacy and 86th birthday celebrations

Dr king

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering one of his many inspiring speeches.

On January 19, the third Monday in the month, the life, achievements and civil rights advocacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated on a holiday named for him. The civil rights icon, who spent his life protesting against injustice, would have turned 86 years old if he had not been killed in the prime of his life.

While the world pauses to honor his legacy with a national day of service, marches and other noble efforts, his three surviving children are embroiled in a vicious court battle to determine if his traveling Bible and Noble Peace Prize should be sold or remain in the family’s possession.

Oprah Winfrey appears in "Selma" which she produced; David Oyelowo stars as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ava DuVernay, co- writer and director of the film, which has received four award nominations so far.

Oprah Winfrey appears in “Selma” which she produced; David Oyelowo stars as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ava DuVernay, co- writer and director of the film, which has received four award nominations so far.

A fitting tribute to Dr. King’s enduring civil rights advocacy is embodied in the film “Selma,” which chronicles the challenges experienced by Dr. King and dedicated members of the civil rights movement in the spring of 1965 when they used nonviolent methods, in the face of brutality and murder to obtain he right to vote. Despite profound beatings, being arrested, atrocious indignities, deaths and the horrors experienced on Bloody Sunday, they marched, organized and protested peacefully, until they secured their important constitutional right to vote with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“Selma,” the first feature film about Dr. King, was directed by an African-American female and has been honored by the Golden Globes for its original song “Glory” sung by John Legend and rapper Common. However, the film has also attracted controversy as well as snubs by the Academy Awards, which nominated it for Best Original Song and Best Picture while ignoring the director, Ava DuVernay and actors, particularly the lead actor David Oyelowo, who brought the film to life.

selma

David Oyelowo, (center) and other cast members of the powerful film “Selma” which described the civil rights movement’s diligent quest to obtain voting rights in 1965.

President Barack Obama’s decision to host the cast at the White House for a screening of the critically acclaimed but Oscar snubbed historical drama “Selma” was a wise one. Also, the decision by Winfrey, DuVernay, Oyelowo and the other cast members of the film to stage a march across the same Edmund Pettus Bridge over which the civil rights leaders marched for 54 miles to Montgomery, Alabama and participate in a discussion in Selma on this historic day will go a long way in reigniting discussion and awareness about Dr. King, his legacy and his searing impact on the civil rights landscape.

No less important is Winfrey’s spectacular two-day weekend extravaganza honoring “The Legends who Paved the Way,” which aired on her network, OWN, on Sunday night and featured King’s daughter, Bernice King, who was a baby when he was killed.

One of Dr. King's most famous quotes is typically used as a battle cry against injustice.

One of Dr. King’s most famous quotes is typically used as a battle cry against injustice.

There are striking parallels to King’s leadership, passion and determination in standing strong in the face of ridicule and the emotions of current protestors who fight against the scourge of police brutality in our inner cities, particularly police officers killing unarmed African-American and Latino men with impunity.

But as Winfrey said: “These protestors today can learn a lot from the discipline shown by the participants of the civil rights movement. You have to know what you are protesting for and focus on that issue in order to achieve it.”

In 2010,, President Barack Obama, the nation's first African-American president, honors civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Lewis, was beaten on Bloody Sunday and endured harsh treatment during his lengthy involvement in the civil rights movement which he joined as a teenager and at 20, was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington.

In 2010, President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, honors civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Lewis, was beaten on Bloody Sunday and endured harsh treatment during his lengthy involvement in the civil rights movement which he joined as a teenager and at 20, was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington.

Despite inequalities in housing, educational attainment, financial, political and social status, collectively African-Americans have made significant progress by utilizing the opportunities that have been gained through the sacrifices made by Dr. King, Rep. John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young, The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, the Rev. Joseph Lowery and countless others during the civil rights movement.

The right to vote exists today due to their foresight, commitment and fortitude. As we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday and legacy, let us also reflect on the benefits we enjoy today because of the sustained efforts of a group of individuals who refused to take no for an answer. Happy Birthday Dr. King. You showed that Black lives mattered then and activists are doing their best to show that Black lives still matter today-OnPointPress.net.