Monday, August 9, 2010

Put On Your Marching Shoes!

Put On Your Marching Shoes
By Gary L. Flowers
Executive Director & CEO
Black Leadership Forum, Inc.
August 8-15, 2010

While many bankers, corporate executives, and Congressional members are preparing for summer vacation Americans left behind are losing homes, hope for employment, and help for failing farms. When all else fails people of conscience must take a public stand and petition for legislative relief.

There would be few broad-sweeping laws if not for the focused few who dared to make their pains public. For example, laws protecting workers came about because workers publicly protested unfair working conditions and wages. The 1964 Civil Rights Act of 1964 was preceded by the Children’s Marches of 1963 in Birmingham, AL. The 1965 Voting Rights Act was inspired by a 45-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, AL earlier that year. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 followed the fair housing marches of 1968 in Chicago, IL. In sum, marching matters.

Yet, public demonstrations either represent the progress or regress.

Glen Beck, for example is planning a public rally with Tea Party members on August 28, 2010 at—of all places—the Lincoln Memorial. Yes, the site of the 1963 March on Washington in which Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Historically speaking, Glen Beck’s philosophy seems diametrically opposed to those of the 1963 march organizers. For starters, he believes that increasing federal regulations to hold corporations accountable to the public and health care reform are somehow misguided. Regardless, of what Glen Beck and his cohorts think or do on August 28 the Coalition of Conscience have the moral high ground on legislation for the locked out and left behind.

Several Member Organizations of the Black Leadership Forum will hold public actions the week of August 28 to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington:
• The National Action Network will hold a prayer and rally at Dunbar High School in Washington, DC to address national issues impacting African Americans. For more information, visit or call 212.690.3070
• The Rainbow PUSH Coalition will hold a Jobs and Justice rally at the UAW-Ford National Program Center in Detroit, MI to rebuild America by enacting policy that will unleash skills and talents of the American workforce. The March… contact or call 313.926.5361
• On August 29, The Hip Hop Caucus will hold a march and rally in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, LA to refocus attention on the profound impact Hurricane Katrina and promote the ecological sustainability of New Orleans post-Katrina. For more information, visit

Those who complain about the isms (racism, sexism, militarism) must rise in righteous indignation match marching with mouthing.

Join us on the battlefield!

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