Day: May 20, 2009

Aw. Remember when the King kids were just cute little kids? Not suing each other and arguing about Daddy’s legacy? Well, I personally don’t because I was born in 1977, but I have this picture. Proof they all once got along when they rocked Pampers.Monday news broke that Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks had reached an agreement with the estate of Martin Luther King Jr. to create a biopic on the life of the slain civil rights leader. Everyone was excited. Everyone was interested. Who would play King? Would this be a three-hour-epic like Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X?” How would it differ from the King miniseries that reduces me to tears when they show it once a year during Black History Month?

But hold up! Wait a minute! This involves the King family, right? I got a bad feeling about this …

More after the jump.

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Or The Case Against Integration

If you HBCU is dead, dying or in disarray it’s probably because you didn’t go there. You probably didn’t even realize it was yours. It was just that one school in the bad neighborhood where you were all, “My God! Who put Spellman in the middle of the ghetto?” because you’re not from Atlanta. You’re from Chicago or St. Louis or New York or Los Angeles where they don’t have HBCUs and colleges are in “nice” places. Your expectations are framed by the not-so-magical, integrated world of suburbia where if you were fortunate to actually get a decent education you dreamed of “A Different World” and most certainly got it if you actually pursued that dream at a black school.

But most of us didn’t go chasing after Dwayne and Whitley. Not us, the children of integration. And a lot of didn’t see those schools as ours, even if they’d been created for us, and went on to create mini-versions of it with other black students through self-segregation on the “white” college campus, ususally by joining black sororities and fraternities and trying to live amongst other black students. Because, in the end, even though we grew up integrated, we still didn’t always feel welcome.

Which was the crux of a discussion two older black men had with me years ago for a newspaper story. Both were ministers and both were members of the NAACP. They’d belonged to the local chapter in Bakersfield, Calif. for years, and they’d joined the larger organization when they were still young men trying to grasp the fight for Civil Rights of the 1950s and 60s. They both confirmed something that had been nagging in my heart nearly all of my life.

Integration wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.

More after the jump.

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