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MLK's dream endures

Danny Glover stresses meaning of human rights

Published: Friday, January 18, 2013

Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 00:01

Danny Glover

Jade Bedell

A dream — not one that fosters an end to racism, but one that encourages evolution of the human soul — is what renowned actor Danny Glover took away from the message Martin Luther King Jr. bestowed upon Americans on Aug. 28, 1963.

The MSC Woodson Black Awareness Committee put on the sixth annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast on Thursday morning. The breakfast was intended to honor King for his accomplishments and legacy in relevance to the University and its students.

“This is our formal way to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King,” said Raquel Davis, senior anthropology major and member of the WBAC executive staff.

Davis said the goal of the breakfast was to implement a spirit of action in the college community.

Jimmie Green, sophomore agricultural and life sciences major and member of WBAC, said the goals in which WBAC sets out to accomplish are to educate, explore and expose students about the black community.

Glover, who is commonly recognized for his roles in “The Color Purple,” “2012,” “Angels in the Outfield” and “Lethal Weapon” was this year’s honored guest speaker for the event. Glover offered insight on the meanings and representations of what King stood for and the types of messages he was in the process of portraying before he was assassinated.

“King was always evolving, always thinking,” Glover said.

Glover said King’s message was evolutionary. He said it was transformative when men and women chose to boycott nonviolently.

“There were four steps to [King’s] evolution,” Glover said. “The march in Washington, his acceptance speech of the Nobel Peace Prize, his speech in Vietnam and his speech in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968 when he supported the sanitation workers.”

When King gave his speeches in Vietnam and Memphis, he was branching out to a different cause. He was branching out to the rights of humans, not just a particular race, Glover said. As his speeches ventured into such topics, his message began to alter and fuse itself into another “dream” entirely.

“King called for a revolution of values,” Glover said. “ He went from talking about civil rights to human rights — poor African Americans, poor Hispanic Americans, poor white Americans.”

Glover focused a major part of his discussion on the notion that King was inclined to understand and address these human rights. Glover said part of King’s motto was that he wanted to change the souls of Americans.

Glover posed the questions to the audience, “How have we changed our souls and where have we taken this step in human evolution?”

Regardless of the direction and interpretation Glover offered on King’s ideas, the audience remained centered on the topic of racism. Anonymous audience members entertained the questions about how young, black adults are supposed to deal with current racism and how to overcome it.

“The first question we need to ask ourselves is, what does it mean to be a human being?” Glover said. “The work that we do has to go beyond changing racial attitudes. It’s about human beings. How do we become a more people-oriented society?”

As King had originally envisioned, Glover shared a continuation of the message to go beyond the traditional framework of civil rights.

University President R. Bowen Loftin was a guest speaker at the breakfast to deliver opening remarks. He told the audience to look back 50 years.

“1963 was a pivotal year at A&M,” Loftin said. “There was the changing of the University’s name, the first partial admission of women and the admission of black students. We are richer for it. We are a more diverse student body.”


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