Monday, August 5, 2013

What's In a Picture? Was Martin Luther King, Jr. Beginning to Lean Towards Africa?

Some young and more conscious African-Americans care little for Dr. King.  They appear to see him as being desperate and begging to be a member of a system that would never fully accept black people in this country.  They lean more towards Malcolm X whom I also have some respect for, but because I am anti-war and violence unless it is a very absolute last resort, I am less of a fan of him and respect Dr. King more because of his peaceful principles. It is always easier to take the more violent path.  Look at the world at the moment... 

There is a theory that the US government assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr. because he started to criticize the Vietnam War and American imperialism.  I think the theory is possible.  I also believe that any leader of an oppressed group anywhere in the world who does not agree with US policies is seen as a threat and will ultimately by liquidated.  Even if Dr. King only devoted his time to the issues of integration, he probably would have been framed and imprisoned or killed by elements within the government.  The same patterns are used over and over. They aren't very difficult to decode if people are willing to face reality and not be blindsided by propaganda, a task which is very hard for most Americans to do.  We are covered in this country by propaganda and illusions from the cradle to the grave.  Propaganda serves the purpose of welding together this very fragile and divided society which is heavily fractured along racial, class, and religious lines.  I keep seeing written online and spoken by whites the fairytale that America is more divided than ever.  This lament began with Bush and it has continued with Obama. It can't be said that everybody in America was united during slavery and Jim Crow or the Indian Wars unless the ones you're talking about were white people, and even they were not unified because of division by class and Christian sect.

But what was Dr. King doing in the following photos I have found below?  No one talks or writes much about this period when he met the leaders of newly independent African states.  Really I haven't read anything about it except what Dr. King wrote of his meeting with the first president of Algeria. I really want to research what was going on in-depth.  In the first photo I found he is with the first president of Algeria, Ahmed Ben Bella, who was a hero in the fight to free his country from over a century of French rule.  Ahmed Ben Bella was both a Pan-Arab and Pan-Africanist.  (see my blog post about Ahmed Ben Bella)



The second photo is Dr. King with Kwame Nkrumah who was the first president of Ghana, a great intellectual, and Pan-Africanist.  Dr. Nkrumah was a hero of African independence, and many of his ideas of a united Africa were espoused by Muammar al-Gaddafi in his later years. 



The final photo is of Dr. King with the first president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda. Kaunda fought for the independence of his country, was an author and also a supporter of the Non-Aligned Movement. 



Seeing these three photos I have to ask did Dr. King have an inkling that integration might not work? He did say that he feared he was integrating his people into a burning house.  There are a lot of people I know who never really evolve in their lifetimes.  They stop at about age 15 or 20 in their worldview.  They halt their own growth because growing involves a lot of pain, and they are afraid.  I have gone through intense growing pains in my life, and as long as I lashed out against them I was broken. Once I permitted myself to evolve and spread my wings, I became a more contented person.  I am often not pleased about so much in life, but I understand that often what troubles us are other people, and that we spend so much time worrying about their nonsense that we can't become the humans we were meant to be.  

I believe Dr. King was spreading his wings toward our ancestral homeland because he knew that America was going to be a hard if not impossible nut to crack.  He studied history and understood what it shows us about human nature and how difficult it is for people to change their hearts.  Was he becoming a Garveyite or Pan-Africanist? Who knows.  He was killed at a young age, and there were so many possibilities.  I think he was feeling his way around and was moving beyond all the lies and fears about Africans that we are taught in America.  Perhaps he saw that with all Africans whether dark, light, and all the shades in between we are one family and truly need each other. Perhaps he saw that the only way to become a whole people again was to reclaim our African identity, something which I strongly believe. Perhaps if the American government had a hand in murdering him, they also murdered him for this as well.  There are certain groups in this society and in the government who never want us to become whole and with a sense of dignity. 

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