samefourletters

pedagogy of the perplexed

Celebrating MLK Day in October…

Since Na’im got us first class sleeper tickets on the MLK train with that fantastic clip, I might as well do my bit and carry a couple bags - or at least throw in a couple of my personal favourite quotes from the indomitable Dr. King:

"On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ And Vanity comes along and asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right."

and from his last speech, the night before he passed:

"And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

How great can one man be?

To answer the question - if anyone was even wondering - how this relates to education, I guess the first thought that comes to mind is that the whole notion of racial prejudice and civil rights touches directly on the importance of an education that raises awareness and fosters a sense of love and service towards humanity. No matter what way you look at it, it’s hard to entirely disregard the merits of a virtues-based education. By only sticking to pure ‘academic’ learning, the education system fails to equip it’s students with the tools necessary to break the shackles of ignorance, prejudice, discrimination and injustice. I guess you could say that in this sense, Dr. King was one heck of a teacher.

P.S. Speaking of trains, if you haven’t seen Darjeeling Limited, do yourself a favour and watch it tonight. One of my favourite films:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO1bYukdvLI

P.P.S. To poetically tie it all together, here is an amazing quote from a Jay-Z track that gives dap to Dr. King and his iconic peers: ‘Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther could walk, Martin Luther walked so Barack Obama could run, Barack Obama ran so all the children could fly…’ Nuff said.

Posted by Nima