Monday, January 16, 2012

King's Legacy is in Mandela, King, and Others to Come

Viktor Frankl in his classic, Man's Search for Meaning, notes that once a potentiality has been actualized, it is saved and lives on in our past. Therefore, we should seek to make real as many of our visions as we can.

On the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. I ask: Could there have been a Mandela without King? Could there have been an Obama without King? These three are closely linked in their destinies, achievements, and influence. Everything is related and influences every other thing. The idea of freedom may be the prime motivator of civilization.

I have a memory of the day of King’s assassination in ‘68: I was driving a taxi cab in Iowa City, Iowa. (I had just dropped out of the MBA program and was applying for other possible futures. We bragged that we had the highest educated cab force in the country, made up of guys like me, some with law degrees.)  I had to work that day, and sure enough, some jerk got in the cab and said “Hey, they finally got that nigger!” Through tears, I told him to please get out of the cab. Sadly, this stuff is still out there.

Mandela will not be with us long, I think. He is 94. He was absent last week at the 100th anniversary of the African National Congress, which he led. Thinking of the ANC, I listened to a wonderful CD of Amandla!, the powerful documentary from 2003. It proclaims the power of music for revolution. I commented in a recent post that non-violent revolutions were quite successful in recent decades.

Now I have tried something new: I posted my first YouTube video using Movie Maker Live for Windows. Seems easy enough, but all of the photos I included and the lyrics timed with the music, failed to publish successfully. I just want everyone to hear a sample of the music. (I think this dates from the oppression in S. Africa in 1959.) I will try to fix the video, but here is the music with a black screen:
Here are the lyrics:
Thina sizwe, thina sizwe esinsundu, 
(We the nation, we the brown nation)
Sikhalela izwe lethu 
(We cry for our land)
Elathathwa ngabamhlophe 
(That was taken by the white people)
Mabayeke kumhlaba wethu. 
(May they leave our land alone)
Abantwana be-Afrika 
(The children of Africa)
Bakhalela i-Afrika 
(They cry for Africa)
The 2003 documentary (108 minutes) may be viewed online free at:

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