How Can You Teach Us Civics When You Can’t/Won’t Vote?




Martin Luther

Martin Luther King, Jr January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968


On this day we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Most folk knew him for his speech, “I Have a Dream”.  A hero to blacks and source of pain for whites.  Martin was known for exposing the evil against black folk and providing peaceful ways for black man and women to claim ownership of simple and equal rights in America, note:  the Supreme Court disapproved of King’s methods.  Psalm 94:16 reads: Who will rise up against the wicked?  Who will stand for me against those who practice iniquity?  The federal government didn’t act until they were pressured to act; President Kennedy thought King was directed by Communists and President Johnson didn’t trust the King’s judgment and Hoover thought of him as a threat to national security.

King and ObamaOn Monday, November 2, 1964 King was questioned whether he had purchased a radio station urging Negros to write his name in for President.  King replied, This is a cruel and vicious attempt to confuse Negro voters and nullify their votes. So I would like to take this opportunity to urge every Negro voter to vote for one of the candidates on the ballot.  I am not a candidate, please do not write in my name.  This will waste the entire ballot.  The handbills and radio announcements urging you to write in my name are part of an attempt to cancel out your vote.  This is an insult to me and to Negroes generally.   I call on you to repudiate this plot by getting out and voting for one of the candidates on the ballot.”

1954 – Did you know that Strom Thurmond, the late South Carolina Senator who served for nearly 48 years was the first write-in candidate elected to the U.S. Congress. Thurmond ran as a write-in candidate after the death of Senator Burnet R. Maybank in 1954 to protest the South Carolina Democratic Executive Committee’s nomination of State Senator Edgar Brown rather than by primary election.  At the time, the Democratic Party was the only party in South Carolina, so if Thurmond had not stepped in, Brown would have easily won the election without a challenge. The states that do not allow Presidential Candidates are: Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma and South Dakota.


Friday, January 1965, Selma’s teachers, 105 of them, men and women, dressed as if they were going to church, marched on the courthouse where the Registrar’s Office was, waving toothbrushes, a sign of their commitment to spend the night in jail if they had to.  Not long afterwards the students took to the streets, 161 of them carrying signs that read, “Let our parents vote.”   Selma’s Sheriff Clark charged them with truancy and force-marched them out of town, pursued by police, state troopers, and his own private posse.  They were beaten, they were shocked with electric cattle prods, and many fell to the ground unable to move.  One of these students, Letha Mae Stover, looked up and saw a police officer forcing her to rise, jabbing her in the back, remarking, “You want to march?  I’ll teach you how to march.”  But she couldn’t move, and she told him, “You might as well kill me.  I can’t get up.”

right to vote

Did You Know

Republican Party played a key role in the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  The Voting Rights Act was written in the office of Everett Dirksen, the Republican Minority Leader, and without his help and the help of others, the Act would not have passed.



hotel where king was shot
There was a “hush” over America on April 4, 1968



One of President Obama’s favorite quotes of Dr. King’s is the one that comes from Dr. King’s speech to the marchers at the end of the march on March 25, 1965.  “The arc of the moral universe is long,” King said, drawing on the words of the abolitionist, Theodore Parker, “but it bends towards justice.”  To which President Obama added, “Here’s the thing.  That arc does not bend on its own.  It bends because each of us, in our own way, puts our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice.”

Do you know the relevance of Acting Attorney General Nick Katzenbach?







The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis

This book is amazing.  I must admit, I had an issue with an extreme desire for office supplies.  I’m always scooping up pens, post it notes, paper, you name it, to complete my arsenal of supplies at home.  Once I admitted that it was stealing I worked hard at not engaging in the behavior.  Ok so I’ve been stealing office supplies since for ever.  Two months ago, I was at work and I needed to locate two books for my classrooms.  On my journey to find the books, my first stop was the library, to no avail.  My next stop was a room that served as a lunch room and a depository of books.  I had been shopping in this room for quite some time, you see anything in this room can be taken (not stolen) simply taken at will.  As I look through the various bookcases I get to the last row and I still have not found my book.  Upon exiting the room I glean over the table just to take a look and I see nothing.  However, at the last table, there is a small red book, I think to my self, wow I just noticed this one book on this large table all by itself.  How come I didn’t notice it before.  I lean over to look at the title and was called “The Imitation of Christ”  I chuckle to myself and walk away.  You see my focus was on the word “Imitation” and the meaning behind it.  What could be interesting about a “fake” Christ was my immediate reactions and hence the reason for my laughter.  Before I turned the knob on the door, “something” caused me turn around and go back to the book and pick it up.  To my amazement, instantaneously I knew I needed to “take” that book.  I looked around (no one was in the room but me – that was odd) any-who, I looked up and I said to Him, You knew I was going to pick this book and You knew I was going to take it – this is the best  book I ever stolen (I prefer to say or think it was left for me) because everyday that I have read a chapter the subject matter has spoken directly to an issue that I had gone through literally the day before.  Great book I demand that everyone obtain a copy and it can used as a daily “helper”!

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