Martin Luther King Jr. and Gilligan’s Island

As a history teacher I always like to see what shows were broadcast around national holidays. What would be emphasized this time? This year I’m extremely disappointed in the programming for the Martin Luther King Holiday. TCM ran a series of films involving black actors especially Sidney Poitier. BET ran the King miniseries and the Rosa Parks Story. One cable channel ran a Gilligan’s Island marathon. Did the programmers at that channel even know it was the Martin Luther King Holiday?
What disappoints me most about the programming and even the holiday was how many people and how much history was forgotten. As great as MLK was; he and Rosa Parks were not the whole Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement lasted much longer than the years from Montgomery to the Voting Rights Act of 1965?
What about all the other people who sacrificed or risk their lives for justice? What about Medgar Evers, James Chaney and others who gave their lives? What about the Freedom Riders like John Lewis and James Farmer who were beaten? What about crusaders like A. Philip Randolph, Ida B. Wells and Charles Houston who paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement? So many people made a great deal of sacrifices, often ordinary, unknown individuals like you and me. At least 42 were known to have died during the years from Montgomery to Selma. Many more were lynched in the years prior.
It is important to remember the whole struggle. The battle for racial justice did not take a decade and still goes on today. Many who started the struggle never saw the results. The same is true of those who fought for the right of women to vote. I doubt if any who were at Seneca Falls in 1848 lived to see Women’s Suffrage take effect in 1920.
This long view of history is important especially for those who are pro-life. Our struggle isn’t over. Those who started the struggle may be dying off but like the Civil Rights Movement new leaders are emerging the battle goes on. And like the Civil Rights Movement the work and contributions or ordinary everyday Americans is important. The battle isn’t over!

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Author: ronquinlan

To me the message is what is important. Feel free to copy and use anything on this blog. Some pieces were originally published by Catholic Lane so please give them credit. I am a charismatic Roman Catholic and former Social Studies teacher in Catholic Schools. Pieces I've written have been published on Catholi Lane, Catholic Exchange and the Women of Grace blog.

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