_ "The 1619 Project" author read excerpts from Dr. King's speeches
without telling anyone that she was doing so, leading the audience to
think King's words were hers. _
Nikole Hannah-Jones by abraji_, This image was marked with a CC BY
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones
[[link removed]] managed to
give Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
[[link removed]] the
birthday tribute he deserved ― and threw shade at critics
of Critical Race Theory
[[link removed]] in the process.
On Monday, Hannah-Jones, the author of the bestselling book, “The
[[link removed]] posted a Twitter
thread explaining that she was invited to give a speech about Dr.
King, only to have a small number of members of the group hosting her
claiming that her presence dishonored the Civil Rights icon.
"I was invited to give an MLK speech today and a small number of
members of the group hosting me wrote and then leaked emails opposing
my giving this speech, as it dishonored Dr. King for me to do so. They
called me a "discredited activist" "unworthy of such association with
"So, I scrapped my original speech and spent the entire first half of
it reading excerpts from a bunch of Dr. King's speeches, but without
telling anyone that I was doing so, leading the audience to think
King's words were mine. And, whew, chile, it was AMAZING.
"Here is some of it: 'It was in the year 1619 that the first BLACK
slave was brought to the shores of this nation. They were brought here
from the soils of Africa and unlike the Pilgrim fathers who landed
here at Plymouth a year later, they were brought here against their
"(Wherever you see Black in caps, it's bc I subbed out Negro to not
give it away.)"
'For more than 200 years Africa was raped and plundered, a native
kingdom disorganized, the people and rulers demoralized and throughout
slavery the BLACK slaves were treated in a very inhuman form...
'White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot
be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our
society...The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of
militarism and racism...'
'The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be
solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic
power. A nation that continues year after year to spend more $ on
military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching
'The crowning achievement in hypocrisy must go to those staunch
Republicans and Democrats of the Midwest and West who were given land
by our government when they came here as immigrants from Europe. They
were given education through the land grant colleges...'
'These are the same people that now say to black people, whose
ancestors were brought to this country in chains and who were
emancipated in 1863 without being given land to cultivate or bread to
eat; that they must pull themselves up by their own bootstraps...'
'What they truly advocate is Socialism for the rich and Capitalism for
the poor... "We know full well that racism is still that hound of hell
which dogs the tracks of our civilization.'
'Ever since the birth of our nation, White America has had a
Schizophrenic personality on the ? of race, she has been torn between
selves. A self in which she proudly professes the great principle of
democracy and a self in which she madly practices the antithesis of
'The step backwards has a new name today, it is called the white
backlash, but the white backlash is nothing new. It is the surfacing
of old prejudices, hostilities and ambivalences that have always been
'The white backlash of today is rooted in the same problem that has
characterized America ever since the black man landed in chains on the
shores of this nation.'
'Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass
effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance...with
each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument
that BLACK AMERICANS HAVE come far enough.'
'...for the good of America, it is necessary to refute the idea that
the dominant ideology in our country, even today, is freedom and
equality and that racism is just an occasional departure from the norm
on the part of a few bigoted extremists.'
'If America does not respond creatively to the challenge to banish
racism, some future historian will have to say, that a great
civilization died because it lacked the soul and commitment to make
justice a reality for all men.'
'Why do white people seem to find it so difficult to understand that
the Black people are sick and tired of having reluctantly parceled out
to THEM those rights and privileges which all others receive upon
birth or entry in America?'
'I never cease to wonder at the amazing presumption of much of white
society, assuming that they have the right to bargain with the BLACK
for their freedom...'
"Oh, the uncomfortable silence as I read Dr. King's words at a
commemoration of Dr. King's life when people had no idea that these
were his words. When I revealed that everything I said to that point
was taken from his speeches between '56 and 67... Can you say SHOOK!
"Then I read all the names that white Americans called King:
charlatan, demagogue, communist, traitor -- and brought out the
polling showing more than three-quarters of Americans opposed King at
his death while 94 percent approve of him now.
"I left them with this: People who oppose today what he stood for back
then do not get to be the arbiters of his legacy. The real Dr. King
cannot be commodified, homogenized, and white-washed and whatever side
you stand on TODAY is the side you would have been back then.
"In fact, most white Americans in 1963 opposed the March on Washington
where Dr. King gave the "I Have A Dream Speech" with that one line
that people oppose to anti-racism like to trot out against those
working for racial justice.
"When the speech was over, Father Pfleger, who had been been cheering
me on from the crowd, whispered in my ear: That's what you call the
"You Gone Learn Today" speech and I . Because, yeah.
This is why the 1619 Project exists. This is why the decades of
scholarship that undergirds the 1619 Project exists. Because if we do
nothing, they will co-opt our history and use it against us."