A Dream of MLK Today – Aging Against the Machine

Aug. 28, 2013 / By

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New America Media, News Analysis, Paul Kleyman

SAN FRANCISCO — Fifty. This week’s anniversary celebration of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom resounds with a worthwhile mix of critical reassessment and historical pride for the progress made since then and yet to be accomplished. But for my Boomer generation, the tumultuous events bookended by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and his tragic assassination five year later also arc across a half-century of our lives.

Fifty. Fifty years? How unsettling for aging Boomers, who once pictured nostalgia on an old-timey gazebo—echoing with the Beatles’ refrain, “It was 20 years ago today, Sargent Pepper taught the band to play.” Twenty years? Ha! Just a couple of generational blinks.

More than a cause for personal reflection, though, it’s hard not to wonder about King himself. Had he survived James Earl Ray’s gun sight, he would be 84 today. And I’d like to think he’d be as up on political hip-hop, like Goodie Mob’s new “Age Against the Machine” album released Thursday (after 14 years their poke at Rage Against the Machine), as, say, Curtis Mayfield or Odetta.

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New America Media is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 3,000 ethnic news organizations. Over 57 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media outlets, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and Washington D.C., and partnerships with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media.