and Honoring

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

January 2003



Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

Photograph copyright © 1965 - 2012 by Stan Daniels, Editor, - all rights reserved.






From the Publisher



A Publication of the Network Cafe


The question in 2003


Are we making progress


are we losing the ground

so many of us paid for

in blood, sweat and tears?


would he think about the present state of this country?











Sadly, the list of things that have not changed could go on.


Much more disturbing are that the good things about our community (the

things that helped us survive) have changed for the worse.  Before and

during the so-called Civil Rights Movement (which was really an attempt to

claim our rights as human beings and not be treated as second class citizens

or three fifths of a person), there were certain things that you just did

not do.  Anti-social behavior was frowned upon because you were raised by

someone who taught you the difference between right and wrong; and the

larger community helped to reinforce those values.  Today, people that break

the rules of society are made into heroes by popular culture and too many

young people are left to raise themselves.


The acceptable drug of choice during Reverend King's day was alcohol and

many families were affected by alcoholic behavior among parents, mainly.

After the Civil Rights movement the introduction of heroine, crack cocaine

and marijuana into our neighborhoods attacked our solid family and extended

family foundations and sent parents and children into the new plantation  -

the jail system.  Job growth through prison building largely benefits poor

white communities and drug laws largely impact the street level dealers.


Celebrities have displaced community leaders as role models; and our youth

imitate their values (or lack of them).  I am horrified whenever I hear

Black people use the "n" word as though it were a term of affection equal to

"friend".  While Reverend King was alive, this was not the case; because it

was mainly racists who used that word.  Profanity is used, especially among

young people, as an acceptable means to express your thoughts; which is

reinforced by the music, movies and celebrities that they value.


Education use to be prized as the sure way to a better life. However, after

35 years of the "professionals" designing our failed urban educational

systems, it's no longer the sure road to a successful life.  Too many of our

young people are still graduating without the level of skills necessary to

compete with their counterparts around the world, not just around the



Poor quality housing was an issue in Reverend King's time; and, despite new

lower density housing that has replaced the higher density "projects", it is

still a problem.  Home ownership among people of color is still low; most

rent.  Businesses that thrive in our communities are still owned by persons

from outside of the community.


So where are we today?  Even though there are more Black corporate officers,

financial officers, millionaire celebrities and such, there are still not

enough Black owned businesses and Black investment in our communities.

Sports star Magic Johnson has made an effort to open movie theaters in the

"hood", but more need to make similar efforts to "give back" to the



This brochure and the meetings for small business owners that I have held

over the past two years were created to address this lack of progress among

the business community.  If there is to be a positive change in the state

"Black America", it must come by reclaiming those values that made us strong

enough to survive our history in this country:



when the first institutions of learning were run by Africans and on African




the agreement to build a better society)


Each of us must do our part. There really is nothing more important. We

should know by now that we sink or swim together.

-- 30 --


Lori Smith, Publisher,





Please Visit these related pages // YOU CAN BE GREAT // Coretta Scott King // Martin Luther King, Jr // MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR and CONTEMPORARY ISSUES // ROUGH Side of the Mountaintop Speech // KEYS TO PEACE // Coretta Scott King Eulogy




Re-visit our Intro pages // Welcome // Celebrating Diversity // Facilitating Education
Wake Up Call // "S.O.S."! // Choices // 21st Century Signs of the Times







Quality Web Sites


Eight Cities Media & Publications