As many others have noted, Dr. Cone’s lecture/presentation was very moving. From his descriptive language, to his creative manipulation, to the changes in the tone of his voice, Dr. Cone had the audience in the palm of his hand. The ‘opening acts’ spoke very well, but they couldn’t hold a fire to Dr. Cone. Reggie’s song was amazing, it sent chills up and down my spine, but Dr. Cone still outperformed him.
Usually I like to stay in my own comfort zone, where I am in control, aware of my surroundings, and know what is going on. Attending that lecture put me outside of my box, exposing me to a different perspective of civil rights and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Old Testament as it pertains to civil rights. In my opinion it is good to be culturally diverse and look at things from perspectives other than your own. This lecture definitely had that effect on me.
The item that Dr. Cone spoke about that stuck with me the most, that I couldn’t stop thinking about was how MLK would be disappointed in the world today. Racism is not over and equality has not been achieved, no matter what everybody says. MLK would be flaming mad if he knew we set aside one day per year to honor him and what he stood for. Previously I had been caught up in the common misconception that MLK was almost perfect, that all he did was good. Dr. Cone revealed otherwise though, giving all the facts; ‘MLK had to be killed, the powerful white people were afraid of him.’ was a very powerful quote. President Johnson was afraid of him and his power, his movements, and his might following of people. MLK didn’t just represent blacks, he represented anybody willing to follow him that was the same way as him, victims of ‘corruption.’ Yet we only honor MLK and hold him high as if he were a President. I have been thinking about this since I went to that lecture, very thought provoking.
The final thought that stuck with me was from the follow-up questions. Dr. Cone was asked about racism from blacks to blacks and blacks to whites (instead of the usual white to black). His responses blew me away. Black to black racism doesn’t exist, that is just self hate. Black to white racism doesn’t exist in society because in order to be racist, you have to have power, blacks don’t have very much power. He got a lot of claps and amens out of that response! Once again, I found myself never thinking in these terms.
I am glad I attended the lecture. It was very thought provoking and exposed different sides of thinking, both of which are good for being very well rounded and culturally diverse. Let Justice Roll!