A number of students reacted to Harry Boyte’s post reflecting on the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s historic speech.
Dr. Howard W. Grant sent DemocracyU feedback he received from a number of students in his class ‘Urban Politics and Therory’ at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.
“This article is interesting because I’ve never really considered such a perspective; a sense of citizenship and responsibility we each carry in efforts to maintain order and peace. I’ve always viewed Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech as a breakthrough for African Americans. I was almost convinced that the world would temporarily honor it, and then set it aside, as we have in the new millennium. Set aside our moral beings to fulfill our own selfish desires. Something similar to what was elaborated on in the article which stated: “Today, we need a similar re-awakening. Private pursuits have taken the place of public ones. What one owns is too often the measure of one’s value. Our citizenship declines while we are entertained as spectators, pacified as clients, and pandered to as customers.”
As a scholar and citizen of this country I vowe to re-educate myself on the moral duties of this world, not in pursuit of happiness for myself, but for this country. We must exceed past our racial and class divisions and focus whole heartily on the progression of one another.”
– Ashley Louis
“I have to agree with Mr. Boyte. We need to unite as one and let our voices be heard as they once did in the 1960s. However, with today’s generation – my generation – that is highly unlikely to happen. As Mr. Boyte noted: “Private pursuits have taken the place of public ones.” Today people are more likely to handle situations on their own rather than coming together or even asking for help. Maybe they are too afraid of what people may say or think.
No one wants to listen to you if you’re just your average Joe. We let society influence us heavily. If you don’t have the bling, money, etc. no one wants to listen. We have all the necessary tools to make a difference in this world; it just takes time and dedication to get it done. Dr. King sought out to make a difference in this world and he did just that. All it takes is one person, and in this case that one person had a “Dream” that changed the history of the world forever. So what will it be my fellow brothers and sisters? Can we dream?”
– Eric Madison
“I do agree with the statement that we as people need a re-awakening because it is important to continue the progress our ancestors and parents have work so hard to obtain. But I do not think that private pursuits have taken the place of public ones. Instead, I think we see more advocates and scholars involved in politics. But yet, as it is so often stated, the revolution will not be televised. I think that history is never planned and it is something that just happens because of a person or groups’ intentions and pursuit. Martin Luther King had intentions of social change, fighting for equality, and being an advocate for civil rights of all people. This venture Dr. King set out on was not promised to be successful or fulfilling, but through motivation and faith it was.
“The reason I bring this up is because I do believe more black people are active in politics than believed. I think they just do not have the same burning passion as many of their elders. I can see why though, we are not in the same era where civil rights was the most pressing issue to us because there is equality now in most instances. I can see where people have lost the passion but it is hard to say they have given up the fight. A re-awakening is needed but I do believe there has been progress in black people becoming leaders and being involved in politics.”
– Calvana Cedant
“In relation to the article, I believe that this reawakening is important. The down side to it though is that black people as a whole have become a silent race in my opinion. The things that are going on and happening now in the world that effect us, we are just letting them happen. We see people of other races stepping up and voicing their opinions on issues that pertain to them. We are more consumed some times with just trying to live day by day — which is understandable – and we don’t think about the bigger picture. Like many say, until this race gets some type of unity and a “help your neighbor” attitude it may be awhile before this reawakening occurs.”
- Lauren Williams