- The seminar began with a collection of photos of Martin Luther King Jr. (which was appropriate because it marks the 24th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center at the University of Kentucky) set to the song “Up to the Mountain.”
- The host of the seminar was the new scholarly resident (Dr. Armfor (sp?) of UK’s philosophy department.)
- Reginald, a music major and award winning opera singer, sang “If I can Help Somebody.” (and he did Great!)
The main guest speaker, Dr. James Cone discussed MLK’s philosophy and how he followed Amos. “King and Amos were both mad about justice” – social injustice. The last speech King gave before his assassination titled “I See the Promised Land” was about the necessary equality among the poor, the rich, the black, and the white. Cone was very passionate about King’s teachings and accomplishments and many in the audience replied with “mm hmm,” “yes,” and “amen.”
There were some parts of Cone’s speech that still resonate in my mind hours later…
“We rich Americas are implicated in Haiti’s suffering.
We did not see their poorness until the earthquake.”
“We must be careful with how high we elevate King. He was not a God or a Saint.”
There was a portion of the seminar that I didn’t understand very well. Towards the end there was a local Pastor speaking of ‘giving things up for the less fortunate.’ He asked if Lexmark Executives give up their high paying jobs. He asked if parents would give up their homes in the best school districts. Then he asked if students in the Math, Science and Technology magnet program at Dunbar would give up their seats in the program . . . . . . . . . WHAT!?!?! I may have, possibly, misunderstood the Pastor because I had been sitting there for almost 2 hours and the seminar was coming to an end. But – I know that being a student in the MSTC program is earned. Students and their families do not pay to be accepted, there is no council hand-selecting the “more fortunate.” Being once a student in the program I know that I was accepted based on my school work, test scores and 3 interviews. Now my niece is a Freshman in the program. She doesn’t come from a wealthy background and neither of her parents live in Dunbar’s school district, but her great performance in school has paid off.
Like I said, I’m still confused as to what he said, so I may be way off. (if so, please ignore my short rant)
I’ve found that reading for this class has been very difficult.
Although I consider myself a Christian, I’ve never actually sat down and taken the time to read the Bible. Because of this, I find myself reading it from a religious stand point and having a hard time interpreting it as ‘literature.’ Many of the topics and discussions brought up in class have been very intelligent and I find myself often thinking, “Wow, that makes so much sense. Why didn’t I think of that?” I think it would’ve been much easier to read for this class if I’d had an actual reading guide sitting next. A guide to continuously remind me to read as literature versus as a religious text. It sounds very elementary, I know, but I think it would help quite a few people in the class and it would help encourage people to speak more during discussion.