It is December 14th, 2016. A rainy day in Oakland, CA.
Last month, The United States witnessed a surprise Presidential election which has revealed Donald Trump as our next president. This election, directly after the 8 years of Barack Obama, is probably the most controversial elections the 20th century has known. Where Do we Go From Here? I have heard many people ask this question, which reminded me of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s last book, “Where Do We Go From Here?” Chaos or Community, which I read several years ago.
I thought, maybe in his book, “Where Do We Go From Here?” Chaos or Community, Dr. King might have some answers or recommendations on where we should go now. As I started researching where to find a copy, I discovered Dr King wrote the book in 1967. In fact the blurb on the back of the book reads,
” In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., isolated himself from the demands of the civil rights movement, rented a house in Jamaica with no telephone, and labored over his final manuscript. In this prophetic work, which has been unavailable for more than ten years, he lays out his thoughts, plans and dreams for America’s future, including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education. With a universal message of hope that continues to resonate, King demanded an end to global suffering, asserting that humankind-for the first time-has the resources and technology to eradicate poverty.”
Therefore this coming January (next month) 2017 will mark 50 years since he wrote “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, about 14 months after writing this book.
After reading the book again and realizing it “has been unavailable for more than 10 years,” I found some things I believe may assist individuals and organizations in search of solutions that may empower the powerless.
To express these possible solutions, I decided to divide this essay into two sections. The first section a review/overview of the book: “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community” followed by “Where Do We Go From 2017 forward.”
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
David N. Roach
“Where do we go from here Chaos or Community
review/overview by David N. Roach
“Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?
Written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Jan/Feb in 1967, the book is around 200 pages, divided by six chapters followed by an Appendix: Programs and Prospects.
The six chapters are Chapter 1: “Where are we?” Chapter 2: Black Power. Chapter 3 Racism and the White Backlash. Chapter 4 : The Dilemma of Negro Americans. Chapter 5: Where we are going. Chapter 6 The World House.s Followed by the Appendix;
Let’s get right into it. Chapter by chapter, starting with Chapter 1: Where are we?
“On August 6th, 1965, the President’s Room of the Capital could scarcely hold the multitude of white and Negro leaders crowding it.”
Dr. King starts off his book with the above to share the excitement of what they had achieved, the signing of the Voting Rights Bill of 1965, which would insure “every Negro his full rights as a citizen.” Dr. King follows this joyous event with examples of what her calls a “white backlash.” In a nutshell, every time they took a step forward to eliminate the laws of segregation, additional attempts by their opposition would be initiated to slow their efforts.
He shares how during the year after, many “white and Negro civil rights workers had been murdered in several Southern communities.” The swift and easy acquittals that followed for the accused had shocked much of the nation…””
He mentions the inequities in housing, unemployment, but “when Negroes looked for the second phase, the realization of equality, they found that many of their white allies had quietly disappeared.”
to be continued…