Patricia Kullberg hosts this Martin Luther King Jr. Day special which includes music by artists Farrell Williams, Noname, and Ambrose Akinmusire, plus the following segments:
Critical Race Theory: Bill Resnick talks to Malik Miah who made a living as an aviation mechanic and spent most of his life fighting racism in the unions. He has written several books and hundreds of magazine pieces. Bill and Malik discuss Critical Race Theory – what it is, the complex ways racism is reproduced in this country, and how and why the right including the Republican Party is attacking its use in the schools and, in the process, seeking support from parents.
In Memoriam: June Jordan was a widely published Jamaican poet and playwright who was recognized for her lifelong commitment to political activism and human rights. Her poetry is fierce and pulls no punches in its exploration of issues related to gender, class, and race identity. She was known as a poet of the people. Jordan taught at a number of institutions of higher learning and ended her career as a professor of English, Women’s Studies and African-American Studies at the University of California Berkeley. She passed away in 2002. Her poetic tribute to MLK is entitled In Memoriam, Martin Luther King, Jr. In this recording we hear Jordan reading her tribute.
Reclaiming the Radical Legacy of MLK: Our Well Read Red, Patricia Kullberg, reads an excerpt from an article by Jenn M Jackson published January 18, 2021 in Al-Jazeera, entitled Martin Luther King, Jr was Radical: We Must Reclaim That Legacy. In the piece Jackson argues that too much of what white America celebrates in the history of the most well-known civil right leader is revisionist and obscures the way his politics evolved over time into a radical vision of a society that protects and serves the humanity of all. This piece was researched and edited by Sharon Grant.
A Legal Retrospective of 2021: In their Left and the Law segment, Jan Haaken and Mike Snedeker look back on the legal terrain of 2021, taking up gains and losses around social justice reforms. They start with a short civics lesson on the three branches of lawmaking governing our lives: the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches. Even as the Supreme Court and federal courts have been taken over by arch-conservatives, social movements have won victories, from the election of progressive prosecutors in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Native American tribes using treaty rights in defending land and water rights, to cities suing fossil fuel companies for lying about climate change. Mike and Jan take up a few highlights here in Oregon, specifically in death penalty cases, and conclude with some prognosticating for 2022.