SPEAKER 1: This is a production of Cornell University.
SPEAKER 2: Well, again, good afternoon. And welcome to Cornell University's on-campus celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. We are delighted that all of you are able to be with us today, and want to extend a special thank you to so many members of the community who made our community folks able to get here easily. This is a very special day for everyone assembled.
For some of us in the audience, this is an opportunity to have a person of history come to life, as we hear about his work and his vision. For others of us, it is a time to reflect on the essential events of our own lifetime and to consider the impact that one man had in the time that we have been alive. And for still others of us here today, it is a chance to share with all of us assembled a very personal and special relationship with this extraordinary human being, and in doing so, inspiring us all to carry forward his work.
And for that last effort, we are especially grateful to have as our guest speaker Dr. Dorothy Cotton. As you will hear in the formal introduction provided a little bit later in the program, Dr. Cotton worked for 12 years under the direct supervision of Martin Luther King. And then later in her career, we were delighted to call her one of our own, as she directed the Office of Student Activities for nine years at Cornell University. An Ithaca resident still, she is one of our community's-- and indeed, I will say our nation's-- treasures. And we are so grateful that she is with us today, for what I know will be a very special afternoon.
I also want to thank the monks of Namgyal Monastery for participating in today's service, and also to our three student performance groups. By your presence here today, you also enrich our lives and lift our spirits.
I also want to say how pleased I am that today we will be unveiling a plaque commemorating both Dr. King and his father's presence in this very chapel, in fact at this very pulpit. Daddy King's preaching here in 1979 was one of the signature events for me. It was the year I returned to Cornell to work. And I remember sitting in the way back of this chapel when it was packed, for what started out to be a morning and then went into an early afternoon that was just an extraordinary event. And it's appropriate that we commemorate it today.
So as we come together for words of wisdom, motivation, and inspiration, let us reflect how each and every one of us can carry forward Dr. King's message of hope and justice and equality and peace in our own lives, and as we affect the lives of others. When we believe we cannot face another struggle at all, let us remember what this one individual was able to do, by his own efforts, and through those who were close to him, and those whom he inspired, in just 39 years, his age when his life was taken from us during his visit in Memphis.
So let us put aside the matters of today to focus on lessons from the past and visions for the future. Welcome to our celebration.
SPEAKER 3: Good afternoon. Today, during this King commemorative program, we pause to note two historic visits to the Sage Chapel pulpit by Dr. King and his father, Martin Luther King, Sr. On November 13, 1960, less than a week after John Kennedy's narrow victory over Richard Nixon for the US presidency, Dr. King stood in this very pulpit to preach before a capacity audience. It was his last engagement in the United States before flying to Nigeria for for its independence celebration.
Over 28 years later, Dr. King, Sr., affectionately known as Daddy King, also graced this pulpit on February 4, 1979. Daddy King came to Cornell on the occasion of the fourth annual Festival of Black Gospel, founded by the late Jack Lewis, former director of Cornell United Religious Work. This coming weekend, interestingly enough, the Festival of Black Gospel will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Today, we acknowledge the visits of Dr. King and Daddy King with the unveiling of a plaque that will forever commemorate their presence among us. It is the first time that such a plaque has been unveiled at the chapel. And yet, this practice, as your program indicates, is in keeping with that of other university chapels that memorialized the visit of a distinguished guest, what we have long called at Cornell, eminent divines.
The plaque reads, "Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964 Nobel Laureate, preached at Sage Chapel on November 13, 1960 from the theme Three Dimensions of a Complete Life. And Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. preached at Sage Chapel at the fourth annual Festival of Black Gospel on February 4, 1979, from the theme The Inescapable Christ." I want to ask Dr. Dorothy Cotton to join me here at the pulpit, as we unveil the plaque.
We welcome you to take a closer look at the plaque, as well as the photos of Dr. cotton with Dr. King that are in the chancellor area, following our program.
[MUSIC - "BE YE GLAD"]
(SINGING) In these days of confused situations, in these nights of restless remorse, when the heart and the soul of a nation lay wounded and cold as a corpse. From the grave of the innocent Adam comes a song bringing joy to the sad. Oh, your cry has been heard. And the ransom has been paid up in full, be ye glad.
Be ye glad. Oh, be ye glad. Oh, be ye glad. Every debt that you ever had has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord, be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad.
Now from your dungeon a rumor is stirring. Oh, you've heard it again and again. Ah, but this time, the cell keys are turning. And outside, there are faces of friends. And though your body lay weary from wasting and your eyes show the sorrow they've had, oh, the love that your heart is now tasting has opened the gate, be ye glad. Be ye glad.
Be ye glad. Oh, be ye glad. Every debt that you ever had has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Oh, be ye glad. Be ye glad.
So be like light on the rim of the water, giving hope in the storm sea of night. Be a refuge amidst the slaughter of these fugitives in their flight. For you are timeless and part of a puzzle. You are winsome and young as a lad. And there is no disease or no struggle that can pull you from God, that can pull you from God.
Oh, be ye glad. Oh, be ye glad. Ever debt that you've ever had has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad.
SPEAKER 4: afternoon, everyone. Every generation has only a relatively small number of people that we can label great. These are people that, as a society, lift us up onto their backs and take a few steps forward. In the 1950s, a number of people lifted this nation up and took a few steps forward during the civil rights movement. They broke barriers. They achieved the impossible. And they forced progress onto immovable mountains.
Without a doubt, these people were great. The woman I'm about to introduce is one of these people that we call great. Dr. Dorothy Cotton was the director of student activities at Cornell for nine years, and served as the southeastern regional director of Action, the federal government's agency for volunteer programs for three years. She holds a master's degree from Boston University in area of special education.
Dr. Martin Luther King once remarked, "Dorothy Cotton's bravery, insight, and steadfastness have been invaluable to the movement." Dorothy Cotton worked directly with Dr. King for 12 years as the education director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She was with Dr. King when he delivered his historic speech at the march on Washington, where he declared "I have a dream." She has spoken all around the United States and all around the world, imparting knowledge, sharing her wisdom, and spreading her message.
It is my privilege and my pleasure to introduce to you Dr. Dorothy cotton.
DOROTHY COTTON: Please, why don't you bring my chair here and put them here? Well, I'd love to have those beside me. No, no. Put the chair here. Lovely. Lovely. Isn't it beautiful?
There, a little housekeeping. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here.
And I want you to know that I'm really glad to be here. And I don't know where Wilma is. But my cousin, Wilma Martin, is probably tired of hearing me say this. But I was-- she asked me to come and talk at the South Lansing School for Girls, where she used to work. And she wanted me to talk about the civil rights movement, my experience with Dr. King. And as I walked up to the podium, I heard one little girl say-- she looked to be about 12 years old. And she said, "And y'all still living?"
After-- I have two or three friends in here who have heard me say that before. I can't seem to stop saying it. But I get more and more out of that little girl's question, are you all still living?
I also have another reason. I'm glad I am living. But there's also another reason. My good friend, Dr. Alonzo Edmondson, knew I was going to be sharing with you today. And he sent me two or three news articles. And you won't believe this. In a recent survey of college students on US civic literacy, more than 81% knew that Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was expressing hope for racial justice and brotherhood in his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. Most of the rest surveyed thought King was advocating the abolition of slavery.
Now I'm glad to be here, so I could get that straight. Because I worked with him. And slavery was over then. Slavery was over. There were some other things going on. So I'm really, really glad to be here-- whole lot of reasons. But those loom very large for me.
As I said, the may times I have quoted the little girl who said, as I walked up, "Y'all still living," she was obviously really, really surprised. But actually, I decided that question could be pertinent to every one of us. And I really have agonized over how to share with you here today.
I do get a chance to talk, to share from this experience, in a lot of places in this country and in other countries. But there's something about sharing in your hometown. I mean, I've been living here for 23 years. And in your hometown, it's like-- I think I started days and days ago. What should I focus on?
Actually, you could shake me in the middle of the night. And I can start talking about some of the experiences. And so from what perspective would it be helpful to share with you? And my focus, and even excitement, relative to the little girls question, actually, was greatly enhanced when a good friend of mine, Maria White-- she may be here, I don't know. She loaned me a little book by Dr. Edwin Burtt, Light, Love, and Life. I think I've remembered the title correctly.
Dr. Burtt began his narrative on the theme that I want to lift up today, on the subject of living. What is it to truly live? Dr. Burtt had my attention immediately, as I read his opening line. He wrote, "When I was 80 years old, I made a provocative discovery about myself. I decided that I had not yet learned how to live. I had many accomplishments," he continued. "And I had achieved many distinctions in my profession. But that was not living," he wrote.
I understand that on his tombstone is written, "My eve was my dawn." I'm grateful to him for sharing this observation. It is a gift to us, I say. For the eve of his life, the ending period, brought him to the realization that he still had some time to change course, to get it right.
It is a gift. Because if we hear him, we can get it right, before we reach 80. No some of us, like me, got to hurry up.
Intrigued by the question above-- the little girl's question and Dr. Burtt's observation-- I thought it might be interesting to try to apply the concept of living to the subject at hand, lessons from the past, visions for the future, and try to relate this to the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. This of course, involves taking a look at that great social change movement of the 20th century, the modern day civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. Or as a friend and colleague in that movement, Dr. Vincent Harding, calls it-- he says, "that movement to advance democracy in the country." I'm d he said in our country.
I'm still stirred a little, even now, when I say "our" country. And I want to, today, in a way-- or explain. I hope it comes clear why there's a special energy around this statement for me and so many others I know, just to say "our" country. Though people write and talk about Dr. King and the civil rights movement from many perspectives, as I've indicated, I've witnessed some programs that paint a picture of great sadness and suffering.
And that's true. I remember being on a podium with some other people that were actually a local church here. And I was last on the panel of folks speaking. And I thought, my goodness. This sounds like we're at a funeral, or that the civil rights movement was one big funeral. And I wanted to get up there and say, hey, folk. We really had a ball, believe it or not.
And I know that's hard for people to feel. Incidentally, I pleaded with the planners to-- do I really have to go up in that podium? I feel like I'm in a cathedral in England somewhere, when I stand. I've been up there a couple of times. Because what I like to do, when I'm talking about this big event that advanced democracy in the country, the civil rights movement, is to try to create a little mood and the spirit of what happened.
Now I could give a very-- I did decide to write out a bunch of stuff because I thought I could come from so many perspectives. You know, sometimes, you get through-- oh, I should have said this. I should have said that. So I said, yeah, on this occasion, I guess, I will write.
So anyway, there, of course, was some sadness. And you know about some of it. Becoming a part of that earth changing movement actually provided a reason for truly living. It provided meaning for our lives. I hope you'll get the point that we actually felt joy in doing what we were doing. Yes, the challenges were also there, and occasionally, the sorrow.
So to answer the little girl at the Lansing school, I want her to know not only Dr. King's story, his legacy, but actually, to realize a fuller understanding of how the movement Dr. King came to lead was a people's movement. That's really important. And I hope you'll get that point very clearly, by the end of this sharing today.
A movement of simple, ordinary people, out of whose work, Dr. King emerged as an incredible visionary, spokesperson, guiding light-- and in the total scheme of things, from my perspective, it wasn't that long ago. It wasn't-- I was talking in a class over here some years ago. And we were showing a video on the Freedom Rides. And the video on the Freedom Rides was made 15 years after the Freedom Rides. A group of us decided to go back through all the places.
If you haven't heard of the Freedom Rides, you're not getting a good education here. So you got to deal with that. But there was this video. And I'm showing the video in this class. And so in the video, an NBC affiliate group followed us through all these cities. You know, the buses were burned in Alabama. And a few of you know the story.
And I'm standing in the classroom. So actually, there were three time periods there-- the video, and then they had some of the old footage from the actual Freedom Rides. And here we are going back.
And I looked at the one little girl in the class-- this was here at Cornell-- who was crying. And I said, what were you feeling? What's on your mind? And she said, well, when I heard the term civil rights, what came to mind for me was civil war.
So not only did, recently-- this was just this January 15, when this survey found out that college students think that Dr. King was working to abolish slavery. Right here at Cornell University, one little girl in this class thought that when we spoke of civil rights, she said to me that she was getting it straight. And she was emotional about that-- "I thought they were talking about civil war."
Along with the sometimes horrendous violence, involvement was still a blessing, a gift of an enriched life, a sense of fulfillment and purpose, often, a sense of community in places where there had not been a community. In a video recording of the Birmingham part of the movement, that civil rights movement, you can see and hear children.
Have you seen it? The children's march-- you can see children snapping fingers and running around Birmingham. And they are saying, hey, you going to jail today? You going to jail today? I went yesterday. But if we go to this town, we're going to have to longer. Because we were there. They were having a ball going to jail!
These children, they caught the spark. That came into some work sessions with us. Because so much was going on in Birmingham. And it was-- talk about an energy. It was so volatile-- things moving. And they wanted to be a part of it. These youngsters did catch the spark. And they understood when Martin Luther King said, "We will transform those jails from dungeons of shame to havens of victory."
Now it is not my purpose to fixate on the pain or the scars. To our psyches, we have had an oppressive system, a system I dub American-style apartheid. Yet, the scars are deep. Just when I was following along, laughing, singing, loving, feeling, and just feeling gratitude for the sunshine. Hey, we've been having sunshine, even though we had snow. Do you know how unusual that is? I'm talking a week or two ago.
But I turn the television on the Biography Channel. And I tuned in to a presentation on the life of Nelson Mandela. In one scene, an elderly black man is walking up to the box to deposit his ballot in the container provided. His hand-- a little shaky and looking a little anxious, as he was exercising his privilege of participating in the political process for the first time. The apartheid system under which he lived did not allow black Africans to vote.
He appeared to be in his late 70s or early 80s, as he was exercising his privilege of voting for the first time. Sitting there at my kitchen table, I burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably. I know now that I cried because it brought back so vividly that very same scene that I experienced in Birmingham, Alabama, when at the height of our struggle there to break down the abusive and violent segregation system, and where we always had what we called mass meetings, where the church would be full of energized people at the ready there to get a report on our progress, people there to see what the plan would be after the attack dogs had been let loose on us and the fire hoses.
At the end of a rousing mass meeting, after the singing and the speaking and the preaching, our recruitment call would go forth from Dr. King, or any of us working together there in that struggle, a call for volunteers to join the next march. After one mass meeting, where we had planned to go straight from the 16th Street Church to line up, following our trained marshals-- James Orange, a young fellow at the time, was a wonderful marshal. And he was there to make sure that, as people came out of the church, that they would line up in an orderly fashion.
Apparently, I shall never forget the scene of an elderly black man in Birmingham, Alabama. The first one I described was Johannesburg, South Africa. But this man in Birmingham made his way through the crowd coming out of the church, walked up to where Dr. King was standing, and I was standing right there.
And this elderly man looked exactly like the man I saw last week from Johannesburg. And he said, "Dr. King, I deserve the right to lead this march tonight." Seeing this elderly black man on the Biography Channel brought back all the pathos, the feelings of wonderment, and the pain, that such an experience could be possible here. And I was an integral part of it. As I said, this is last week-- yeah, February 14, I wrote right here, on that snowy Valentine's Day. And I have often asked, when will the pain go away?
This may be one reason that it has taken me so long to get serious about writing my part of the story. I'll mention that in a bit, running a program called Citizenship Education. And yet, I'm still conscious of living with a great sense of gratitude. For I know that what we went through in the late '50s and '60s in the 20th century made us strong. If it didn't kill us, it made us strong.
That reminds me of something the proverbial grandmother always say. Do it. If it won't kill you, it'll make you strong.
Many who suffered the indignities of a brutal, racist culture, truly, as the saying goes, we turned our scars into stars. Many of us went on finding ways to make an ongoing contribution to our world, contributions that would make a difference for good. For we were transformed by this movement.
Who were some of the people? We could fill books, actually. Another point, I hope, that will emerge out of this sharing is the fact that Dr. King didn't make the movement by himself. As a matter of fact, he didn't even start it. And he has written that he didn't start it.
So that's another story. I could have just focused there. And I love Dr. King. But and he wouldn't mind the real story being told. Because he did play this fantastic role. What would we have done without such a spokesperson and visionary?
But there were people like Fannie Lou Hamer, a black woman in Mississippi, Ruleville, Mississippi, a sharecropper on Mr. Marlow's plantation, who was already working on that plantation to get the natives, the black folk, to register and vote, had been threatened to be killed. And her husband took her to the next county.
And she called, one day, for safety. And she said, "Pap," as she called her husband, "come get me. I'm not going to run away anymore." Bob Moses, who was on this campus, two or three weeks ago, great social saying change teacher, who was the guiding light in the Mississippi Freedom projects. Hosea Williams, on our staff, from Savannah, Georgia and Atlanta, who was one of our best organizers, and was already doing a great work in Savannah, Georgia, when Andy Young and I prevailed upon Dr. King to hire this man that we had discovered, as we had been moving around The South. Rosa Parks, whose spirit led her to sit down for justice, John Lewis, severely beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and now a United States congressman from the Fourth District of Georgia.
My name goes in this very, very, very abbreviated list as one who was working full time when violently attacked, along with some children I had taken to a beach. And we were there trying to integrate a beach that had been designated for white only. Can you imagine anybody saying that the ocean just belongs over here?
But somebody said-- on of the little girls said, "Miss Cotton, Miss Cotton, some men back there said if you bring any more children to this beach, they're going to beat us up." And I remember that I grabbed the hands of two little girls and walked because I was bringing-- I was running transportation, bringing them to the beach. And I grabbed their hands and went straight down that path to the beach.
And sure enough, they beat us up. And I saw in the crowd, a white man, walking through, saying to all the white guys standing around, watching them beat us-- one little girl got her nose broken. And this guy was saying, "Why don't you stop them? Why don't you stop them?" I later found that was a white guy. We ended up, he became one of our staff members. But that's kind of an aside, lessons from the past.
I feel a need to quickly say that not a single example that I could share was about sitting next to white folks, as I've sometimes heard from people purporting to explain the civil rights movement. That comment comes from ignorance of what that struggle was about. The little examples that I've shared represented a whole system that was pervasive. And these were just examples of how it manifests itself.
But that comment comes from, also, not accepting a basic organizing principle, ignorance of the fact that in a broad-based movement, to attack a broad-based and pervasive system of injustice, there has to be a focal point. It has to be confronted in ways that forces opponents to be moved by seeing what we were up against, and understanding the rightness of our cause, in ways that shocked many into seeing how they had been themselves duped, accepting things as they were. Because that's the way they always were.
You can see in a little video called "The Nashville Sit-in Story," the camera's right upon the face of a white woman there in Nashville. And she's saying-- when the students were sitting in at the lunch counter in the Woolworth store there, this woman was saying right into the camera, "I didn't realize they couldn't sit at the lunch counter." I always say-- you all don't even remember the Woolworth stores. A few of you might look old enough. But they're out of business now.
But we don't shop at every counter in the store. But black folk couldn't sit at the lunch counter. But I always have to say, you know, who really wants to eat at those crappy old lunch counters anyway? But it was the fact-- but it represented this system. And so that became just one of the focal points. And of course, you know, there were others. You know people-- she was just accepting it. But that was very, very, very pervasive.
Dramatic actions occurred when pleading for our rights were not working. We could have sent letters. We could have had some more meetings. But having them see us brutalized at a lunch counter did what a letter never could do.
We went through the six steps of organizing a nonviolent campaign. Again, that's another thing I could have spent the whole time talking about how we did that. You know the truism that power concedes nothing without a demand. Dramatic actions occurred when we realized that southern racists' admonitions to give it time did not take into consideration that we had waited how many years? Lots of years. Hundreds of years. How long were we in slavery? Hundreds of years.
Do you all realize that? And they're saying give it time! Give it time? And you know how much time is enough? Even moderates were saying that.
In Dr. King's now famous letter from a Birmingham jail-- he was motivated to write that letter while incarcerated there in Birmingham after one of us took him a letter written by a group of white clergymen bishops on that list. If you haven't seen the list, I have a copy. You can see that the bishop's, the clergy's letter that they wrote. And they said things like-- trying to get us to take that foolishness out of the streets of Birmingham.
They said, and I quote, "We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. And further," these preachers said, "that they commend the law enforcement officials, in particular, on the calm manner in which these demonstrations have been handled." Now these are the policemen they are commending who set the attack dogs on young people protesting for their rights as citizens, who turned water hoses on them with a force that takes bark off of trees.
I have a photograph of a policeman holding a young man, in Kelly Ingram Park, by his shirt with one hand. And in the other hand, he's holding the dog's leash with just enough slack so the dog could get at the boy, which the dog did. This was the first time I saw Andy cry.
You all know who Andrew Young is? He was the mayor of Atlanta for two terms, was our ambassador to the United Nations under the Carter administration. When we reassembled in the church, yes, that was one of the hard times, was seeing boy, anybody, bleeding.
Dr. King's response to these clergymen is profoundly correct and eloquent. Dr. King wrote back, and I quote, "Time itself is neutral. To another suggestion that the teachings of Christ take time to come to Earth," somebody said to him. Dr. King wrote back that such an attitude stems from a tragic, mixed misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills, and that time can be used either destructively or constructively, Dr. King wrote back. "Human progress," he goes on, "never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts of men and women willing to be co-workers with God. And without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively," he said, "in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right."
There is an impressive number of very persuasive arguments in his letter from Birmingham jail-- big ideas, I like to call them-- that you might find stimulating, if you haven't really delved into it. And you might even perhaps find them challenging, in this letter back to these preachers, big ideas worthy of your study, and with which you might like to grapple. For example, the concept of just and unjust laws-- that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. You might even like to dialogue about this if you believe all of this.
In the letter, he talks about the case for civil disobedience. He talks about-- they called him an extremist, and suggesting, as he responded to them, that yes, he was happy to be an extremist for justice. In ML's letter-- incidentally, his sister calls him ML, and his brother. We did too, once in a while. In ML's letter from that jail in Birmingham, there's a thorough rationale for coming to see the imperative to turn things upside down, in order to get them turned right side up. Those of you who are curious about the rationale for the history of this fantastic event, the modern-day civil rights movement, you will find this letter a good place to start your study.
I told you about the girl who thought we were talking about the Civil War. I'm troubled as I take note of the fact that much time is given to historical events from many other times and places on the planet, history of events since the beginning of recorded history, and even before. And yet, all most venues can do is-- I think, in a sometimes empty and meaningless way-- speak and recite "I Have A Dream." And I'm beginning to wonder, did they read the rest of the speech? I mean, there's a whole lot of fantastic stuff in there that he left for us, that we could study, that might help us now.
I began to wonder if the phrase, the dream, has any meaning for those who recite it. Everywhere I go, people recite. They know the phrase. But I wonder if they really know it.
This is especially true when-- on one campus, where I was not too long ago, the planners brought in a little girl-- she looked to be about six years old-- in her fluffy little dress and ribbons. And she recited "I Have a Dream" speech. I want to know if her teachers taught her what was meant when Dr. King said that.
Is this history taught in a way that helps young people create a dream for their own lives? And if they're going to refer to Dr. King's dream, it's OK to build on it. But understand it. But to say it as kind of an empty poetic phrase, that's what I'm feeling all over the place. Why? Because that's all people talk about. Well, again, I started to just say, I think I'll just talk about the letter from a Birmingham jail and the rest of the stuff in it. But there were so many things coming through my head.
I want to know, can we charge our education system to help youngsters start to think of themselves as active participants in creating what Dr. King called the beloved community. There was a media report of school bullying on school grounds just last week. Did anyone see that? We could get so much more out of so much that Dr. King did leave.
Now lest you think I bring news relating only to the troubling part of the history, my message really is a positive one, a hopeful one, if you can see it. Yes, we came through some horrible times, some stormy times. I've already referred to some. I only allude to one or two, but I could fill pages, recounting the atrocities of the system under which black people of my generation and before lived.
And I've got some of them here. I know you've heard about not being able to go into public-- we had our own American-style apartheid. I'm going to leave it at that. Because I could talk. You know, I don't need to describe for you not being able to go in public places, couldn't go in a hotel, couldn't eat at-- I mentioned the lunch counter-- couldn't try on clothes in a department store. And the list goes on.
If you could go in the theater, there was a place upstairs. We used to call it the buzzard's roost, in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where I was born. We could go down inside a little alley. And then there was this little place upstairs, where black folk could sit. And we had some not naughty, naughty folk who threw stuff down. But, anyway-- they didn't.
You know, sometimes, we could do nothing but sing our way out of some of the sorrowful moments. But we sang about everything. Do you all know the civil rights movement was a singing movement? How many of you know that? How many of you know? It was a singing movement. A few people know.
It was one of the greatest-- we called it an organizing tool-- one of the greatest tools that we had. Because if we had not sung in some of these moments, I don't know what we would have done. And then much has been written about the songs of the civil rights movement.
One way to talk about it-- I was out at a school on the West Coast not long ago. And somebody asked me to do a whole workshop on the music of the civil rights movement. Incidentally, a group of United States congressmen will be going to Alabama, Selma, Montgomery, the first weekend in March. And they always ask me to go down with them. We even went to South Africa, a group of United States congressmen, to study the civil rights movement. They go every first weekend in March, put together by the Faith and Politics Institute. And one of the things that some of them are surprised to discover is also a session that we do with him on the music of the civil rights movement.
I remember-- boy, you shouldn't have a manuscript. Because you go in and out of the manuscript. And then you say, oh, I already talked about that. But I want it because I know I talked about-- talk about this a little bit later. But I want to talk about the songs just a little bit.
Fannie Lou Hamer in one of our citizenship education workshops-- we asked people to introduce themselves. And now people are coming from places where some of the horror stuff is going on. And she said, OK, I'll introduce the people I brought. We had met her because we had been in Ruleville, Mississippi. And she said, but, you got to sing this song, "My Heart Is Heavy." And she talked about Pap taking her to the other county. And so she started.
(SINGING) I been in the storm so long.
Y'all never heard it. I know.
(SINGING) I've been in the storm so long, children. I've been in the storm so long. Give me a little time to pray.
Were opening a workshop. Now I know, up here in this high academic setting that you--
Try a little bit of it.
(SINGING) I've been in the storm so long. I've been in the storm so long, children. I've been in the storm so long--
Give me a little time to pray.
(SINGING) Give me little time to pray.
And they weren't kidding. When we got the whole group of 40, 50 folk singing that sorrow song-- because we had to express it. And you know it's like singing the blues. People felt good when they-- you know, people feel good when they sing the blues. That's another story.
But have you heard Mahalia Jackson sing "How I Got Over?" Now when she sings "How I Got Over," she's not kidding.
(SINGING) How I got over--
You all know it. I wonder. Are you all too young to know it?
(SINGING) I'm a soul, looks back and wonder how I got over, how I got over.
How many of you have heard that? These sorrow songs helped up in a lot of places. How I got over-- my soul looks back. And my soul looks back sometimes, and wonders how I got over that day I burst into tears. Gosh, I got a whole lot to talk about. I got to rush along, here.
But I want to tell you about the Citizenship Education Program. And I'll summarize it quickly here. But this was my particular assignment. Andrew Young, Septima Clark, Bernice Robinson, a group of us-- we would bring a group of folk together to-- we had recruited from around the southern and border states. And we had a grant from the Marshall Field Foundation to bring these people together to a training site.
This is one of the best kept secrets of the civil rights movement. It was not even known that we had a training program. But it was not anything that could be publicized, because they would have shut us down. Some people still call it a literacy program.
Yeah, we taught people how to write. But they wrote, M-A-Y-O-R. That spells mayor. Now let's talk about how does the mayor get his job? These people were not allowed to vote. And we had to change the way they thought about that situation. And we incorporated some literacy in it. But it was almost a defense mechanism.
But we had to do that. I'm describing now the Citizenship Education Program. And people would come to our training center there, about 30 miles south of Savannah, Georgia. And one session that I did, I asked the people gathered there, all right, let's talk about it.
Now this won't make any sense, unless you understand the people in the workshop were folk who hadn't been to anybody's school very much. These were grassroots, unlettered people, is the term we used. But know that these are the people who made the civil rights movement. These are the people who started stuff going on in communities, and out of which Dr. King emerged and became our fantastic spokesperson.
But I asked them, what's a citizen? And people would say, well, if you treat your neighbor right. Well, if you love God. Well, if you don't break the law. But somewhere in that morning in that session, somebody would get a sense that there was some kind of law. And I would jump at this opportunity. Yes, there's a law. And the supreme law of the land got to be mentioned there. And it's this law that has something called amendments.
And these words are going up on the chalkboard. Because these folk now are going to go back home and teach people what they learned. And why are we doing this? Remember now, they can't vote. They can't go in public places. They feel like victims because that's how we were treated. But they were working to change that sorry state of affairs in their communities.
So they would learn that this law has something called amendments. There's the 14th Amendment that says all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. And I paraphrasing. No state can take away your privileges.
You could see people start to stand a little taller, sit up a little taller. You knew they were starting to feel better, these unlettered people, right off the farms and the plantations. You could see them, when we said, OK, there's another amendment that got introduced and talked about with these simple unlettered people. The First Amendment that says, yes, you have a right to peaceably gather and petition the government for redress of grievances.
And guess what that meant. I already had a master's degree when I'm working with these people. But I learned more about civics, as it used to be called, helping these people. It was just a lot of mumbo jumbo, when I first heard these terms. But it came alive, not only for them, but for all of us working together there.
And so by midweek, you could see people being transformed. You could just see it happening. And no longer were folks singing the sorrow songs. They were singing--
(SINGING) I'm gonna do what the Spirit says do.
Y'all know that. Where's the choir? Y'all sing it.
(SINGING) I'm gonna to do what the Spirit says do.
(SINGING) I'm gonna to do what the Spirit says do. What the Spirit says do, I'm gonna do, oh, Lord. I'm gonna do what the Spirit--
Now, we might have a movement. Do it again, everybody. All of y'all, who were too shy, sing it.
(SINGING) I'm gonna do what the Spirit says do. I'm gonna do what the Spirit says do. What the Spirit says do, I'm going to do, oh, Lord. I'm going to do what the--
Now we're fighting for the right to vote.
(SINGING) I'm gonna vote because the Spirit said vote. I'm gonna vote because the Spirit says vote. When the Spirit says vote, I'm going to vote, oh, Lord. I'm gonna vote because the Spirit--
We have to go to jail.
(SINGING) I'll go to jail, if the Spirit says jail. I'll go to jail, if the Spirit says for my freedom. If the Spirit says jail, I'll go to jail, oh, Lord. I'll go to jail, if the Spirit says--
No more sorrow song-- songs of hope and celebration, by about midweek in this five day workshop. Thank you all. Hey, we can have a movement to deal with some of this foolishness we--
The people who came to the citizenship education workshops were the people I've said several times-- are the people who made the civil rights movement. It was a peoples' movement. Know that. Let's honor Dr. King. But let's remember the people who were doing stuff before.
He didn't tell Rosa not to go to the back of the bus. He didn't tell those students in Greensboro, North Carolina to go sit at that lunch counter. He didn't tell people. And he wrote that he didn't do that. But thank God, he did what he did.
You saw a theme on the publicity poster for this event that stated, "lessons from the past, visions for the future." I wonder if you are realizing any lessons from this period of our part in history. Do you see the lessons in it?
We could do extensive seminars and workshops on many of the lessons I'm aware of. And I'll just mention, just-- I made a little list of some of the lessons that are really clear to me. We learned that we could make the road by walking it. We didn't know everything upfront. There was no blueprint.
Out at the Haley Farm, Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, has this wonderful conference center, the old Alex Haley farm home place. But there was a conference there. And Andrew Young was there. A whole bunch of folk-- we were there to help him do some workshops-- and about 100 college students.
And one girl stood up. I knew. I could tell by the passion in her that she really wanted to be active and to do something. And she said, how did you all do it? And Andy stood up and said-- I had the floor at that moment. He said, "Dorothy, let's sing that song, "The Spirit is Moving All Over The Land." And so we did a little bit of that song.
That would make a good graduate study. Why was this activity happening, springing up in so many places simultaneously? I think it would take somebody, I don't know, like the Dalai Lama, or somebody who could really look at it from a spiritual perspective. Why was this activity springing up all over the place?
Anyway, that's it. But we didn't have a blueprint. But it was hard for this girl to really hear that. And it's still hard for people to hear it. I mean, after the fact, we can talk like we knew what we were going-- we didn't know what we were doing. We just did it. And it was, we took an action. And then we saw the reaction. But we knew what our goal was.
Let me list these lessons. We could work on each one of them. We realized that we had more power than we knew. The more we got involved, the more we acted, the more we came together, the stronger we felt. We realized a new definition of power, a new kind of power. There was a mighty force let loose on the unfair and brutal system of legally forced segregation and the brutality that flowed from that. We learned that we could change things, no matter how deeply entrenched the pattern or structure, that change is possible, that we could use our anger, our upset, to empower ourselves, to act for change, to confront the powers that be from an understanding of nonviolence. Nonviolence-- satyagraha, as Mahatma Gandhi coined it. I run along here.
We learned that whatever skills we lacked, we could learn. And we learned as we went along, whether it was how to run an effective meeting. Like I said, these folk weren't into running meetings. I know you all stay in meetings a lot over here. But they didn't go to any meetings. They came right off the farms.
Anyway, we could learn whatever we needed to learn. We learned that we have government by the people, not only of the people, and for the people, but by the people. We learned that. And that phrase came alive for us. But only if we make it so, only if the people give life to those words.
We learned that we are not alone, that if we take some steps to bring about positive social change, we'll find allies in many quarters. We don't even know from whence they will come. Some of you may have heard of the James Meredith March Against Fear in Mississippi. And somebody thought, is he crazy? He's going to-- he decided, by himself, that he's going to go march across Mississippi, a march against fear.
Well, I honor him for doing it. Guess what. We were all sitting at an executive staff meeting in Atlanta. I had come in to the headquarters. But our phone rang. And somebody said, Meredith did start his march against fear in Mississippi. And somebody just shot him. We stopped our meeting. And we went to Mississippi. So-- sorry.
People come. If you do something, you will find allies. My challenge out of what I share today, is that I hope you are thinking, what can you do? You won't have to do what we did. But what can you do?
Perhaps, most importantly, we learned that when people are serving, life cannot be meaningless. You can't even be bored, if you're really serving, can you? Somebody agrees with me there.
I can't emphasize strongly enough my sense that what is needed is an alternative vision that people can embrace. I listened for years to, what's her name, Liv Ullmann. Or does she call Liv Ullmann? Liv Ullmann talked about the need for a new way of seeing the world. I'm convinced that she is right.
I'm saying that's what we don't have now. And that's what we need, a new way of seeing a whole lot of things. We need new language. And we need to reclaim some of the old language that's been taken away from us and given new twisted, contorted-- what's the word-- definitions that should not accrue to them. We need a language that's not the anti-war language.
Anti-anything-- I'm deciding that that's the wrong language. We need to stop all this anti stuff. Somebody quoted Mother Teresa. And somebody wanted her to-- you know the quotes-- wanted her to go to an anti-war rally. She said she wouldn't go to an anti-war rally. But she'll go to a peace rally.
I mean, do you see how we feed it with the very language that we use? And we don't even realize that we're doing it. War against terror. The very language itself is violent and-- well, I won't say terroristic. But we need what Carol Bragg-- we need to turn around and to change this male warrior approach to solving human problems.
I wanted to talk a lot about what I feel and see with what's going on with the young men-- and some women, too-- being taught to kill. And when thousands of them are back in the culture, what do you think we've done to ourselves? I mean, such abominable ignorance and blindness that the powers that be can't see what they're doing to the country.
Is anyone conscious here, of the fact, how we're functioning? This is a problem. So let's-- we've got a problem somewhere on the planet. So let's go kill each other. Let's go kill. To me it's as stupid as that, war.
We must change that way of thinking. Dr. King said, "Where do we go from here, chaos or community?" And we-- oh, for his voice now. Because do you not see the chaos? And why are we so quiet about that?
We must change our way of thinking. As Albert Einstein said, "Everything has changed, but our way of thinking. And by that, we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe." Americans became afraid after 9/11. And that fear is easily manipulated by the current administration, and also the media. We must start getting out a vision that contrasts with the Bush doctrine of US global domination and redemptive use of-- excuse me, preemptive use of military force, or we will find ourselves drifting from one war to another.
We should take heed of that. Until there are alternative approaches to global security on the table to be discussed, the default position will always be war. You may not agree with that. But I feel that very strongly.
There is a time for demonstrations. There is a time to visit members of Congress. And there is a time to get involved in the electoral process. There is a time to put all of our energy into trying to pressure members of Congress to oppose military action. And there's a time to work like crazy to bring about a new consciousness, or new way of solving world problems. And that is now.
We could start by building broad-based coalitions. We could start-- I made a little list here. We could just wake up and notice when we are being manipulated by the way language is being used to manipulate. We could start thinking proactively, rather than reacting.
Dr. King's World House agenda is an excellent vehicle for helping us become clear on what to do. We could study his "World House" essay. You know, that's the last chapter in his last book, Where Do We Go From Here, Chaos or Community? In it, he begins by suggesting that we have inherited a large house, a world house, in which we must somehow learn to live together-- black and white, Eastern and Western, gentile and Jew, Muslim and Hindu, a family widely separated in ideas. But we've inherited this big house. And we've got to live in it together.
I know I must rush along here. He goes on to say in that last chapter that we suffer from a poverty of spirit that stands in sharp contrast to our scientific and technological advances. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. And he goes on to describe three great problems facing humanity.
I know I've got to take some of these pages away from here. And I'm going to jump over. And I want to talk just a little bit about why I say it is good that we celebrate Martin Luther King. I trust that you will perhaps decide that you can help take these out of the, I don't know, dusty shelves, wherever you have any of his writings, that you will study them, and that you will look at his vision, if you want to.
Look at what his dream was. But let's bring it alive. And let's look at more than just one little phrase that sounds very catchy and poetic. And know that you can act, that you can do something. "We are the ones we have been waiting for"-- last line of a June Jordan poem. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
You know that we fought hard to get the King holiday. And I was traveling with Mrs. King when, on a program, a man who made some remarks before she did-- a tall, blond man. It was not yet a national holiday, his birthday. And he stood up and said we don't need another national holiday. And he gave his reasons for why we didn't need another holiday.
And I started thinking about it. And I just summarize, very briefly here, why I think it is good. And there are some lessons in what he did, so that he was ready to step into a place of leadership when they needed a leader, and a very special kind of leader in Montgomery, Alabama. You know, he went to Montgomery to pastor to the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. But maybe the great spirit that infuses the universe had another reason for his going there. Because he had studied the philosophers and theologians and Thoreau, and fascinated by Mahatma Gandhi.
And he was so into the Rauschenbusch and Hegel. And he could talk about these guys. And I don't think there were any women philosophers. But he could dialogue and argue, talk about which ones he didn't agree with. But mostly, he was fascinated by the teachings of Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi, and therefore, understood that he wanted to take the gospel out from the four walls into the street to set at liberty those who were oppressed.
So I say one reason-- I'll just name four or five. I could talk a lot about each one of them. But the way he had prepared himself, I just mentioned. And then he could articulate.
I don't know. Do they still have oratorical contests? Dr. King used to-- was in oratorical contests. He could so articulate. I remember one speech. He was saying, when the governor said segregation now, segregation forever, Dr. King at the podium said, "The governor may have his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification." And one woman on the front seat of the church where he was speaking, she was just jumping around saying, "Yeah, Dr. King. Say it."
Y'all don't-- black folk talk back to the preacher. Y'all didn't know that.
I don't know if white folks do that-- say, "Yeah, preacher. Say it, preacher. Yeah."
So when it was over, we walked down to the first row. We said we noticed you really liked what Dr. King was saying when he said the governor may have his lips dripping with the-- what do you think he meant? And she said, "I don't know. But it sure sounded good."
So the fact that you can turn a phrase, that you can say it poetically, is a good reason. OK? He had prepared himself. He could articulate. He was ready to accept-- I'm moving to closure. He was ready to accept the mantle of leadership. He inspired hope. And did he ever need to inspire hope, from a value base that many around the world could relate to.
I was in Japan a couple of months ago-- actually, in October. And there were people there from 30 different countries in this conference, with their different languages. And I asked them, when I had the floor at one point, how many of you all have heard our theme song, "We Shall Overcome?" And all these hands went up.
And I asked them-- we all stood up-- I need the French-speaking people, the English-speaking, the Chinese people, the Japanese. Sing it in your group, in your language. And they did that, separately. And then I said now, I ask you, let us all sing it together, in these different languages, simultaneously.
What a sight to behold, it was a moving experience. I thought of what Paul Robeson said. "If we learned to sing each other's songs, we would not be afraid of each other anymore." And that's what it reminded me of, standing there just outside of Tokyo in October, if we learned to sing each other's songs.
So Dr. King inspired hope. And these people had it from that song. He provided a tool with which we could struggle. And he called us to action. He pointed the direction we needed to go.
I could talk a lot about each one of those. But I want to move to close, reading a poem that was a poem that showed up on my desk a long time ago, a poem written by Mr. Richard Gordon. And then I will take my seat. But I really want-- it's a great way, I think, too summarize.
"Martin, Martin," in a voice that rolled like thunder, God called Martin to the mountaintop. And Martin, not yet knowing he's ready for a calling, stood in the valley, a'shaking, a'trembling, and a'searching the sky.
"I'm down here, Lord. I'm down here and I'm so afraid." And with a not too gentle breeze, God pushed Martin to the mountaintop. And with a not to gentle breeze, He pushed him more.
"I feel you on the wind, Lord. But I can't clutch you in my hands. Where are you? Where are you, Lord?" And God answered, saying, "I see my people suffering still. I see the oppression and greed, sowing hate that breaks forth like ripe cotton in the summertime. I hear moaning, a wailing that floats up like a baby's cry and fills the far corners of Heaven. And I gotta do something now, Martin, something short of the fire my wrath can command."
And then in a gentle, rolling thunder, God said, "You, Martin, are to be my champion. I'm here on the mountain top. Climb." But young Martin tried to slide from the calling. "I'm just one man, Lord. The mountain's too big. My voice is too small. And the devil is too loud. My wounds are too fresh, Lord, my vengeance too strong."
And like a father lifting up his son, God wiped away the fear. "You are chosen, Martin. And your heart will carry you through. So climb the mountain. Go down into the valley of my disappointments and up the hills of my bitterness. Run ignorance and poverty from the table of my people. And bring peace to my soul. And Martin, don't worry about what you think you lack. You have more than you know."
And you have more than you know.
"Where your hands are too small, I'll lend you mine. Where your voice is too frail, I'll lend you the thunder. And in the place where your vengeance grows, I'll plant you a dream."
And down in the valley, Martin stopped his shaking. And he stopped his doubting. And he wrapped himself in the words of the Lord. And with new, bold strides, Martin walked up to the mountain. And where the feet of God had notched a step, Martin place his own clay feet and pushed himself on up. And as he climbed, he walked through bleak valleys of ignorance, leaving a new light.
And in the dark prisms of narrow minds, Martin practiced thunder till he could deliver a lightning bolts of truth. And the higher he climbed, the more his dream focused into a vision. And Martin climbed and never faltered, marched and never stumbled. Until one fateful day, when he stood on the mountainside, unable to move, as a bolder of evil rolled down the mountainside and crushed four little innocent prayers in a church.
Not until that day did Martin stutter his step. He just planted his foot on the mountainside, looked up at the hate filled smoke that clouded his dream and at all the mountain yet to climb. He bowed his weary head. And he said, "I'm tired, Lord. My spirit is sagging from too much talk. My legs are weary from too much walk. And I'm tired, Lord, tired of pushing a mountain that won't be moved.
And God said, "Go on. The mountain can be moved, Martin. It can be climbed." And Martin just kind of slumped on the mountain side. "What's the use, Lord? What's the use?" And Martin-- again, God, up on the mountain top, tried to lift up his son.
"Look down on the mountain, Martin, and see how you've climbed. See how high you've climbed. And look at all my people just a'following on behind, a'looking high, a'stepping big, and a'stepping on up like Jacob. Look down the mountain. Don't you crumble on me now. Don't you loosen your grip and let my people fall. You are my champion. Now get on up and climb."
But Martin, unmoved, only said, "My heart is heavy for the children." And God swallowed the lump in his throat and said, "My heart is aching, too." And then in a voice that whispered like mist God said, "They're here, Martin, on the mountain top with me." And Martin kind of straightened his back. "And they, too, are calling." And Martin kind of lifted his head. "They're reaching and pulling for you, too." And Martin pulled himself to his feet. And God said, "So repack your grip, man. Polish up your tools. The mountain's still yours to climb."
Martin took on the mountain. Faster, faster, got to make it to the top. And by and by, in the sweet by and by, God lifted Martin to the mountain top. And all his fears dropped off like finished fruit. And his heart, like a river cresting, was filled with a knowing and a power. And Martin rushed down the mountainside to share with the people a'climbing on up like Jacob, a'climbing on up like Jacob.
And he told the people, "Don't worry about me. My labors have not been in vain. I have journeyed to the mountaintop. I have viewed the promised land. And I have seen my dream flower in the garden of triumph." So climb the mountain. Climb the mountain, Martin. The dream is worth the climb.
It's a long poem. But what a wonderful summary Mr. Gordon wrote. Was that music to tell me to stop?
I'm going to go to my seat. But I want you to know that Dr. Vincent Harding wrote some new words to that, "Climbing Jacob's Ladder." Instead of we are climbing-- how many of you've heard?
(SINGING) We are climbing Jacob's ladder.
(SINGING) We are building up a new world.
I'll sit down if you sing a little bit of that with me. We are building up a new world. The tune is "Jacob's Ladder."
(SINGING) We are--
--building up a new world.
(SINGING) --building up a new world. We are building up a new World.
(SINGING) We are building up a new--
Builders must be strong.
(SINGING) Builders must be--
Courage, people-- women, don't get weary.
(SINGING) Courage, don't get weary. Courage, women, don't get--
And courage, men, too-- Courage, people.
(SINGING) Courage, people, don't get weary.
Though the road be long.
(SINGING) Though the road be--
Rise, shine, give God the glory.
(SINGING) Rise, shine, give God the glory. Rise, shine, give God the glory. Rise, shine, give God--
Children of the light-- we can build that new world, if we conceive of a new way to think about the world. Thank you.
SPEAKER 2: Thank you, Dr. Cotton. Gathered assembly, we are so grateful that we have the High Notes here, Hillel a cappella group, followed by the Chosen Generation Choir. We regret that we won't have a question and answer period. But please stay after and talk with each other, after we end in song, in tribute to this wonderful woman in our community.
SPEAKER 6: [INAUDIBLE] program. We'll be singing two songs for you. [INAUDIBLE] The first song is entitled [INAUDIBLE]. And our second song is called [INAUDIBLE], which is a joint [INAUDIBLE]. So I hope you enjoy it. And here we go.
SPEAKER 7: Good evening. We're definitely honored to be in the presence of you all tonight, performing at this lovely event. We consider it an honor and a privilege to sing at this event every year. For we do recognize the importance of honoring such a great man as Martin Luther King, Jr. And we hope that you enjoy it. Thank you.
[MUSIC - "I KNOW A MAN"]
(SINGING) I know a man from Galilee. If you're in sin, he'll set you free. He's the one that will save your soul, heal your body, and make you whole.
I know a man from Galilee. If you're in sin, he'll set you free. He's the one that will save your soul, heal your body, and make you whole.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, do you know him?
I know a man from Galilee. If you're in sin, he'll set you free. He's the one that'll save your soul, heal your body, and make you whole.
I know a man from Galilee. If you're in sin, he'll set you free. He's the one that'll save your soul, heal your body, and make you whole.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, do you know him?
I know a man from Galilee. If you're in sin, he'll set you free. He's the one that will save your soul, heal your body, and make you whole, heal your body and make you whole.
He's the one that delivered me, loosed my shackles and set me free, loosed my shackles and set me free.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, do you know him?
I know a man from Galilee. If you're in sin, he'll set you free. He's the one that'll save your soul, heal your body, and make you whole, heal your body and make you whole.
He's the one that delivered me, loosed my shackles, and set me free, loosed my shackles and set me free.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, do you know him? Do you know him? Do you know my Jesus? Do you know him? Do you know my Jesus? Do you know him? Do you know my Jesus? Do you know him? Do you know my Jesus?
Do you know him? Do you know him? Do you know him? Do you know him? Do you know him? Do you know him? Do you know him? Do you know him?
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, do you know him?
SPEAKER 3: I want to thank all of our musical participants who were part of this program this evening, the monks from Namgyal Monastery with their opening blessing, the group, Measureless High Notes, and now, the Chosen Generation Gospel Choir. I also want to thank all of the co-sponsors for this event who are listed in the back of your program, as well as the members of the Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration Committee. Those of you who are here, please stand so we made acknowledge you for all your hard work to make this event take place.
Also, the members, the colleagues of Cornell United Religious Work, who also played instrumental roles in helping to prepare for this event-- I want to acknowledge you, as well. Please stand, those of you who are members of the Office of Cornell United Religious Work. Don't be shy.
Please stand. There will be a press conference, a brief press conference, in the crypt that is all the way down this aisle, to the right, with Dr. Cotton, with members of the press. And then, there'll be opportunity, for those of you who wish to greet Dr. Cotton, thereafter.
Thank all of you for coming and for making this program an event to remember. Thank you so much.
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Ithacan Dorothy Cotton, who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. for 12 years, continues to spread the message that fighting for King's "dream" made his followers stronger.
Delivering the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture, Feb. 20, to a large audience in Cornell's Sage Chapel, she said, "Many people associate the civil rights movement with great suffering and sadness. However from another perspective, that earth-changing movement gave millions a new reason to live." Her lecture focused on what it means to "truly live" and related that theme to the legacy of King.