“They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.”
As we commemorate another year in the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we acknowledge the process of transformation that happens when we see ourselves and our works as seeds for structural change. We do this to hold space for accountability in alignment with the North Carolina state motto, “to be, rather than to seem.”
Committed to the act of being we commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the intention of the Civil Rights Movement to end institutionalized racial discrimination and disenfranchisement through acting with solidarity to sow seeds for structural change.
We ground our celebration of MLK in his 1967 speech in New York titled, Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence in which he states, “If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight” (King, 1967) and Alexis Pauline Gumbs (2015) speculative fiction, Evidence where she writes on page 40, “everybody knows how to grow”.
During this celebration we center structural change by sharing the told and untold stories of revolutionary growth; grassroots organizing in our own backyards and across the world, and decolonizing pedagogy and recentering indigenous and culturally relevant ways of knowing as a diasporic people who have been “created in the cauldrons of colonial societies” (Dillard, 2022, p. 18).
Join us daily from January 17 – January 21 for a commemorative week and throughout the month of January for more programs and events hosted by our campus partners.
As stated by MLK planning committee member, Alexius Pearson, “we want this week to be the place where despite external oppression, we’re finding internal freedom through collective community care.”
“Our freedom was not won a century ago, and it is not won today; but some small part of it is in our hands, and we are marching no longer by ones and twos but in legions of thousands, convinced it cannot be denied by any human force (King, 1967).”