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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