RIP Rev. Benjamin Hook, Dorothy Height

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Madeline, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    Growing up, it was customary to park a kid in front of the tv every night at 6 pm to watch Walter Chronkite. Through the medium of television news, I watched the Birmingham March and other events of the civil rights movement almost as they happened, and Dr. King was mythical to me. I was as inconsolable when he died as I would have been if I had lost a loved one. In my mind, I DID lose a loved one.

    After King's assasination in 1968 (when I was 8 years old and in the 4th grade), few leaders of the Civil Rights Movement really appealed to me as he had. I adored Malcolm X by the time I reached high school, but I didn't associate him with mainstream civil rights folks. Same with Angela Davis, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, who I came to admire while in college...exciting, engaging young people but not really the rightful heirs to MLK's position.

    Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton lacked MLK's dignity, among other qualities. Only one man ever even began to fill the void, and that was Rev. Benjamin Hooks, leader of the NAACP from 1977 till 1992. With his intelligence and quiet dignity, he managed to restore the organization to some/most of its former glory. To me, Rev. Hooks was not a historical figure...he was as present in my life during turbulent times as your heros may be to you today.

    Rev. Hooks died last week, at 85. Doubtless a peaceful death and certainly after a life of extraordinary accomplishments. It's just hard to watch, one by one, as the heros of my youth die off. I feel a real sense of grief, and of gratitude.

    Dorothy Height I was not as aware of growing up, but she was a Giant of the civil rights movement. She passed away last week as well, at the age of 98. Born in 1912, Ms. Height was said to have seen more of the civil rights movement than any other leader, and for most of her era, women in leadership positions were not common. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal for her work towards both racial and gender equality.

    President Obama called her "the Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement".

    I wish I had known more about her during her life, but I acknowledge the debt I owe her...and that every American woman owes her. Every American, period.

    RIP, Rev. Hooks and Ms. Height.

    Thank you for everything,especially the lessons in dignity in the face of oppression and injustice.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmOBbxgxKvo&feature=player_embedded]YouTube - 1968 King Assassination Report (CBS News)[/ame]
     
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  2. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    Thank you for posting this! You're right, I bet a lot of Americans don't know about these trail blazers.


    Thanks!
     
  3. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    They will go down in history as true American Patriots. They fought for freedom and changed the course of the whole country.

    In fact...they saved our soul
     
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  4. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    I greatly appreciate both of you commenting. There are days I feel as if most of my life experience is as relevant as the bronze saw. But these were real people in my life, and their passing pains me.
     
  5. uptownlivin90
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    uptownlivin90 Rebelious Youngin

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    Indeed. May they both rest in perfect peace.
     

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