Dr. Boyce Watkins released one his news blogs on the announcement of the new dedication date for The Dr. King Memorial is set for October 16th, and Watkins also mentions that many of our national Black leaders have questioned whether this memorial represents more of symbolism than the substance of Dr. King's work while he was alive.
The question of whether the new Dr. King Memorial proves to be more "symbolism" than "substance" is in the hands of the national Black leadership and others who themselves seem to be stuck in what Dr. King called the "paralysis of analysis" versus actually DOING the organizing campaigns and direct actions needed to bring about the "substance" that our national Black leaders say they are concerned about. If our collective Black leadership continues on this path of "analysis" versus organizing and actions of "substance the they would have contributed themselves to this current focus on Dr. King Memorial and legacy being more of symbolism than of substance.
Let me suggest yet again that those of us who say we are concerned about this memorial being one of substance than symbolism the we should use this moment with all of the national and international media focus to challenge the Black and poor communities to immediately go back into organizing and action to their local communities and specifically re-activate Dr. King's War On Poverty and specifically start implementing his last community economic campaign that could immediately transform our Black and poor communities and start with our OWN resources to create many of the much needed businesses and jobs within our own communities.
Can you imagine what would happen if the millions of people who are watching these Dr. King tributes paid tribute to Dr. King by doing what Dr. King said in telling Blacks and poor communities to economically boycott and corporation that tried to exist in these communities that did not have financial benefits agreements with the local businesses and community development organizations within those communities?
And what would happen if those same millions of people in Black and poor communities would follow Dr. King's program that called for Black and poor people to use their own consumer power to keep more of that money invested in their own financial institutions and used to create and sustain their own local businesses, institutions and jobs? And all of this also during this 90th Year anniversary of the Race Riots of the original BlackDistrict of where Black people decided to use their own resources to grow and market their own food, they made and marketed their own clothes and built their own housing and created a self contained majority Black community, and cant we educate our people now at this moment that if Black people did it before that we have more than enough resources and consumer power do do it again?
The upcoming Congressional Black Caucus weekend, the new dedication date in October and on gives our collective Black leadership a unique opportunity for our national Black leadership to display the "operational unity" and a renewed economic revival campaign across the majority Black and poor communities in the name of Dr. King's last economic programs that if implemented would indeed make this Dr. King memorial and legacy talk one of substance versus symbolism. Now if this is too had for our collective Black leadership to do at this moment then it is their fault if this King memorial stands as one of symbolism rather than substance.
I am suggesting that The Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Weekend kicks off their national campaign to re-establish Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign and reestablishing his Operation Breadbasket Economic Program; the the next measuring date of that strategy can be ignited is at Rev. Al Sharpton's national jobs rally in; then the next organizing campaign strengthened at the new dedication date of October 16th, the 16th year anniversary of The Million Man March, where Minister Farrakhan can also challenge a million Black men to join the economic revival of Dr. King's Economic Program, and that mobilization can continue on to the 2nd Annual National Black Wall Street Convention October 21-23 in Gary , and we continue report that progress on January 15th, 2012 as you know there will yet another major ceremony on Dr. King's actually birthday and national holiday.
Symbolism versus substance rests solely on our national Black leadership. Is it too hard for this operational unity to take place for substance in the name Dr. King to occur or will our national Black leadership just contribute to the symbolism themselves?
Mark S. Allen
Veteran Black Political Activist