MLK and the Garment of Destiny

MLK Say ! by Rudy Malmquist

MLK Say ! by Rudy Malmquist

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham, Alabama jail, April 16, 1963

Today is the day America remembers civil rights giant Dr. Martin Luther King, and for me these words engraved on the north wall of the MLK Memorial in DC encapsulate both his work and the still incomplete journey to justice for every American, and for every person.

Are the conditions for justice for all better today than when Dr. King wrote those words? Unquestionably.

Are they as good as they can be? Of course not. As Flint, Benton Harbor, and other communities have shown, the drinkability of your water in Michigan depends in large part of the color of your skin. Three times as many Black Michiganders live in poverty and they face 7 years less lifespan on average, clearly demonstrating that a lot of the work that Dr. King championed still needs to be done.

For sure check out the Detroit March to Freedom of June 23, 1963 on Michigan in Pictures if you haven’t already. It was at the time the largest civil rights demonstration in U.S. history, with 125,000 marching down Woodward Avenue culminating in a speech by Dr. King at Cobo Hall that is recognized as his first delivery of the “I have a Dream” speech.

Rudy took this photo of graffiti in downtown Grand Rapids way back in 2009. See his latest on Flickr & Instagram.

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Love gives back

Love by Ansonredford

Love by Ansonredford

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

Here’s an awesome piece of graffiti that Donald captured last summer in Detroit. Check out his Graffiti gallery on Flickr for more!

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MLK Say!

MLK Say by Rudy Malmquist

MLK Say !, photo by Rudy Malmquist

“And so we must say, now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to transform this pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our nation.

…this social revolution taking place can be summarized in three little words. They are not big words. One does not need an extensive vocabulary to understand them. They are the words “all,” “here,” and “now.” We want all of our rights, we want them here, and we want them now.

…With this faith, we will be able to achieve this new day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing with the Negroes in the spiritual of old: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King in Detroit, June 23, 1963.

The words above are from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech at Cobo Hall at the Great March on Detroit. The speech is regarded as the dress rehearsal for his famous I Have a Dream speech in Washington DC. Click to listen and read the text of the speech.

View Rudy’s photo background big and click for more of his graffiti photos.

More Martin Luther King on Michigan in Pictures.

I really encourage you to click through and listen. Dr. King was an incredible orator, and this was one of his very best speeches.