“Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community”: A Book Review

On May 21, 2014, in America, Books, Culture, Freedom, Martin Luther King Jr., Peace, Politics, Sex, by Derrick G. Jeter

Wendell Berry is the preeminent thinker and writer of community and ecology in American Christianity. Like Marilynne Robinson, Berry has been embraced by not only by Christians but by conservatives as well. Which is a curiosity, since much of Robinson’s and Berry’s opinions ought to set conservatives’ teeth on edge. Some of those opinions are […]

Hey, Baby and “Honor” Killings

On January 30, 2013, in Abortion, America, Barack Obama, Children, Culture, Death, Martin Luther King Jr., Roe v. Wade, by Derrick G. Jeter

Nothing is more precious than the chubby toes of a baby. Black, brown, red, yellow, or white—baby feet are the cutest and most innocent things ever created by the everlasting Creator. How is it then that Mehcad Brooks, who was born with beautiful chubby feet, could grow into a man who celebrates the destruction of […]

The Aspirational Inaugural

Barack Obama, at his second swearing in, placed his hand on two Bibles, one owned by Abraham Lincoln and one belonging to Martin Luther King Jr. One man white, one man black, both committed to civil rights. The symbolism was rich. Too bad, however, neither the spirit of Lincoln’s magnanimity nor the spirit of King’s […]

Martin Luther King Jr. Has a Dream for America

On January 16, 2012, in America, Freedom, Future, Heroes, History, Martin Luther King Jr., Patriotism, Rhetoric, by Derrick G. Jeter

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” Martin Luther King Jr. was the most articulate black leader since Frederick Douglass or Booker T. Washington. Born on January 15, […]

A Stone of Hope, Even for an Atheist

“We shall overcome” was the anthem of the civil rights movement. And overcome they did. But why? Did the sixties just provide the right cultural and political ingredients for full racial freedom to percolate in the country? Was it the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King […]

Martin Luther King Jr. and Rebellion Against the State

On January 18, 2010, in America, Courage, Freedom, Heroes, History, Martin Luther King Jr., Patriotism, Politics, Rhetoric, by Derrick G. Jeter

Martin Luther King Jr. had a marvelously rich voice. As was, and is, the tradition and style for black preachers, King “pulled” his sermons—drawing out the vowels to underscore important words, then increasing the cadence on subsequent words: “Mine eeeeeyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Such wonderfully lyrical preaching elicited […]

Way to Go America: Black and White

On November 6, 2008, in America, Freedom, History, Martin Luther King Jr., Patriotism, Politics, President, Theodore Roosevelt, by Derrick G. Jeter

Way to go America. You did it again—you made history, and made me proud to be an American.   On October 16, 1901, the newly ascended President Theodore Roosevelt, dined with Booker T. Washington, the black orator and educator, in the White House. Roosevelt was damned by the Southern press. The Memphis Scimitar excoriated the […]

A Dream Deferred?

On April 6, 2008, in America, Death, Freedom, Future, Heroes, History, Martin Luther King Jr., Patriotism, Politics, Rhetoric, by Derrick G. Jeter

Forty-five years ago this August the moral triumph of civil rights was announced when a young black preacher stood on the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial and declared a dream for America—a dream for his children and the children of white men and women. I wonder, if Martin Luther King Jr. had lived […]