Today we remember and honor the life’s work of a great man. It’s a day to reflect on what has changed and where we are in the struggles for race and gender equality…
I watched the film The Butler two weeks ago and just loved it. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s a fitting movie to watch on this hallmark date – so if you’ve got no plans this evening, download it from iTunes, cozy up with a blanket and get ready for a moving tale of Cecil Gaines (played by Forest Whitaker, whose wife has purchased from my retail store – The Well Appointed House – so I’m an even bigger fan!). The story is loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen – it follows his early life and 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler.
Cecil is hired to the White House during the Dwight Eisenhower administration and serves from through the Reagan years. The film touches on segregation, desegregation, sit-ins, Klu Klux Klan activities, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Kennedy Assasination, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Black Panthers, Richard Nixon, the Vietnam war and South African apartheid. The movie ends with the inauguration of our nation’s first African-American president, Barack Obama, and the story comes full circle. The Butler was moving on so many levels – Oprah Winfrey has a stand-out performance. It’s one of those films that leaves you feeling better than you did before you watched it – that you have learned a bit more than you did before you pressed play. It leaves you with an appreciation for people like Martin Luther King, Jr., who take a peaceful, non-violent stand to help so many others.
DID YOU KNOW?
-That Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through non-violence?
-That he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously?
-Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was made a federal holiday in 1986?
SOME OF MY FAVORITE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR QUOTES:
-“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
-“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
-“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He would accepts evil without protesting against it, is really cooperating with it.”
-“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Food for thought, these quotes are always relevant =-)