Anniversaries…Martin Luther King, Jr….
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr, King’s famous march on Washington and his historic “I Have A Dream” speech on January 17th. Historic groups, business groups, and community groups are planning events across America to commemorate his work. The Urban League has full-page ads in a number of magazines pledging their support for black entrepreneurs who want to develop a creative idea or need direction in designing worthwhile businesses and programs in honor of Dr. King’s vision. Check your local Urban League website to see what message you can help them promote and share in your community.
This year is the forty-fifth anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. A number of ceremonies will take place in Memphis lead by members of the Memphis sanitation department. Many of the marchers marched with him forty-five years ago. Tune into their effort and see if they can be duplicated in your community.
The speech should be replayed and read in its entirety. Students throughout America should rewrite the ending of his speech with their dreams. After writing their personal thoughts, students should write as a gay person, an Indian, a homeless person, a visually impaired person, or a person with a terminal illness. Here is the key piece of Dr. King’s speech that should, definitely, be modeled in our classrooms.
I Have A Dream Segment
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Music…Rihanna…Does She Need Help?
The Black Writer’s Association is starting a national discussion on improving image, embracing education, hard work, and finding creative mentors for inner city youth. Rihanna, recently dubbed “The Marijuana Queen” by high school students throughout America, didn’t get the message. In the last weeks she has worn three different pot shirts on stage, displayed a bouquet of marijuana for her twenty-fifth birthday, and is consistently photographed with a joint in her mouth or hand.
The Black Writer’s Association should compose a Message To Youth like Maya Angelou did. They should then ask their artists, community members, and politicians to support the message.
Educational Website Resources…
Please check out my educational websites at aimtjp.wikispaces.com and catapultintopoetry.wikispaces.com. No www. is needed for either website. You will love the creative concepts that are introduced. There are some great educational ideas in the index bar at the top of this column, also.
Biometrics…Be Afraid Be Very Afraid!
Biometrics is the science that wants to know and does know everything about you. Everyone is astir when they found out companies that collect this information about you, then they sell it to the highest bidder. From insurance companies to Macy’s like stores to the little guy on the corner, this information can make a significant difference in your business’s profitability and your quotient of customer understanding. Every bit of information stored anywhere about you is fair game and is being compiled daily.
If you don’t think this is true, you didn’t see Tom Cruise in his Minority Report movie ten years ago or explore the government hearings on facial recognition software two years ago. In the Cruise movie the biometric database is so exact that it can predict a murder and find the murderer before the commission of the crime. Many companies are using facial recognition as a time clock for employees, to track internal movement, and to allow admittance to sensitive areas. This invasion of privacy and the more than likely improper usage of facial recognition was explored at the federal hearings.
Combining biometrics and facial recognition would allow a department store to immediately know your likes, dislikes, and buying patterns as soon as you entered the building. In a science fiction like scenario, the products you like would immediately jump to the front of counters and dance in front of your eye level. Dance may not be the best descriptive word. Close does count, though in this instance! Vance Packard’s book Hidden Persuaders published many, many years ago discussed how this techniques would be realized.
Wednesday Think Time…Poetry To Ponder…Mimic Poetry
Every issue of this column presents in puzzle, game, poetry, or creative writing form some little challenge that will keep you mentally sharp. The top index bar of this column has over one hundred of these creative encounters. If you teach or are home schooling members of your family, these ideas are perfect for young and old alike. Past columns have recommended that you keep a writing or activity journal. Hopefully, you will rekindle an old love of puzzle solving, poetry, and writing or discover a new interest and skill.
“Mimic Poetry” is featured in Kenneth Koch’s book Rose, Rose How Did You Get The Red. Koch suggests having students change Blake’s poem “Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright” to another animal and reflecting that animal’s characteristics in the same style Blake used in his original poem.
1. Koala bear, koala bear, hanging in a tree.
Oh, what climbing symmetry.
2. Rabbit, rabbit fur so white.
Oh, what scampering day and night.
Try mimicking Blake’s poem beginning before taking a favorite poem of your own and changing it to another theme or style.
Finally, the word dichotomy is used in this column. The two shows topping the cable viewer list this week were The Walking Dead (13 million viewers) and The Bible (12 million viewers). What a viewing dichotomy! The Walking Dead was the last show for this year. Walking Dead end of show parties probably added many more to these numbers. The show that talks about the show after the show is over pulled giant numbers, too. Kudos to AMC and The History Channel for their programming choices. Roma Downey and Robert Burnett are the driving forces for The Bible and its success.
New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, the arts, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a strong foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.
New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.