Honored to participate

This past Monday, Martin Luther King Day 2014, I was asked to deliver the keynote “reflections” address at the U-M North Campus MLK Spirit Awards and Celebration. I was honored to do so. I started my address with a short rendition of the Sam Cooke classic, “A Change is Gonna Come.” I then traced the impact of the civil rights movement from the perspective of a kid in Flint, Michigan — me. The modern civil-rights movement basically began in 1954, the year after I was born, with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. I detailed the very positive impact the movement had on me and others in my generation, and lamented, to some extent, the sorry state of affairs for black kids growing up in places like Flint today. I finished by saying that MLK helped to define the template for our humanity, and that the task now falls to us. In this age of rapidly advancing technology, that template will determine how and if the human race survives, so it is important for us to get the template right. I understand that a video of the address is being produced. I will make it available here when it is released.

By the way, David Turnley’s presentation of Nelson Mandela and South Africa photos was amazing. I was pleased to meet David, and honored to share the program with him.U-M MLK Spirit Awards 2014 - 1U-M MLK 2014 -2U-M MLK 2014 - 3

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