Killer Mike portraits in his barbershop graffiti swag shop

A Hip-Hop firebrand speaks his truth on Martin Luther King and what it means to celebrate him and carry on his tradition. As always, enjoy!

In light of what would’ve been Martin Luther King’s 86th birthday, I was delighted to find this poignant, provocative, and articulate Op-Ed from one of Hip-Hop’s most universally respected and outspoken MC’s, Killer Mike. In the Op-Ed, Killer Mike talks of the importance of celebrating King in a way that truly honors the revolutionary he was and to use the holiday off to be proactive in working towards the completion of King’s dream by not reposing on the fact that it is just a day off, but rather see it as a day on to carry on the tradition of service to all humanity as he did. In the Op-Ed piece, Killer Mike posits a critique of Christianity and Christian doctrine when he states, “he (King) believed in the philosophy of Jesus in a deeper way than just anti-homosexual rhetoric and conservative right-wing dogma.” The Civil Rights Movement is also touched on in its broader ideological scope when Killer Mike proposes that King “plotted, planned, organized, strategized and mobilized for a movement that was bigger than simply ensuring blacks had rights.” Killer Mike furthers his point by challenging us to broaden our conceptions of what the Civil Rights Movement was by stating that, King’s “dream was to expose the link between poverty, pain, prison, and global war.” By placing King within this larger cosmopolitan framework, Killer Mike portrays him as a man that was egalitarian in his approach and not a venal man that only sought justice for his (Black) people. Killer Mike’s most concise point is in his conclusion where he states, “we don’t need more depictions of Martin as anything other than what he was-and what we have to become to ever realize his dream of the eradication of poverty, miseducation, inequality, and war. We have to be revolutionaries and nothing less.”

 

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