First giving all honor to the Great Architect of the Universe.
What an honor to be asked to come back home and speak. I even have on my Lifetime Alumni CSU Pin to reflect how elated I am. Fired up and ready to speak.
I will attempt to connect my past and current civil rights life work, related to the great work of the late - great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. I confess my message hopes to both motivate and inspire - hopefully at least one of you – HELP ME LORD. At the end I will challenge and charge each of us, in a justice framework, to a call to action.
So let’s begin with repeating after me. Fired Up and Ready to Go – Fired Up and Ready to Go. Somewhere – somehow – right here – right now.
Let me convey to all that the ACADEMIC DEGREE of DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS was presented to me at Sojourner Douglass College on June 28th 2009 where my acceptance speech was entitled the Man in the Mirror related to the passing of Michael Jackson
[Coppin State University that was hint hint 10 years ago.]
Let us start, THIS listing of MLK Quotations, and my walk through these times and my experiences, with this quote – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” President Trump and U.S. Congress it is an injustice that government workers are suffering because you both are playing politics with people’s lives. I was a federal government worker for 41 years.
Dr. King once said – “The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.” From North Avenue and Bloomingdale to North and Pennsylvania Avenue there are at least 12 – 1 dozen churches. Many, if not most, of the members and pastors, if they stepped outside of their churches and walked 3 blocks in any direction, the residents would not know who they are.
Somebody say AMEN or say ouch.
QUOTE – “I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.”
QUOTE - If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”
Our children, our women and our seniors are being robbed, brutalized, shot and killed. To the non-snitchers - one day you will ask that a snitcher come forth. QUOTE “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
QUOTE – “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” We have in this very neighborhood a plethora of Open Air Drug Markets and an over abundance of liquor stores. We’re in a food deserts just blocks below here with no Community Action Center – No Senior center just blocks from here and no much needed Mental Health Clinic, but white folks and rich folks from Mount Royal, MICA and Reservoir Hill want to come west and take control of the West end of W. North Avenue. North Avenue Rising – gentrification.
Touch the person next to you and say – it hurts, but Doc is telling the truth.
MLK QUOTE – “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Bowie, Coppin, Morgan and UMES – don’t think white folks at the Maryland Higher Education Commission are going to stop duplicating our courses, stop giving TWI’s more money and us less. WE MUST DEMAND EQUALITY. Somebody say JUSTICE.
Crime and Violence are off the hook especially in the neglected Western and Southwestern Police Districts. QUOTE “We all may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat.”
A food desert Madame Mayor and City Council - in the Freddie Gray community – Matthew Henson Neighborhood - just 5 blocks down the street from here COPPIN – QUOTE – “The Quality, not longevity of one’s life is what is important.”
We must give back and reach back. QUOTE – “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”
Today this Baltimore City School Board, that needs to be replaced by hopefully a better and elected school board, is closing schools in poorer and black communities. Cultural Degradation? QUOTE -
No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”
MLK QUOTE – “Life’s most persistent question is What are you doing for others?” QUOTE – “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” Is anyone listening?
QUOTE – “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Repeat after me family- EVERYBODY MUST SERVE. QUOTE – “Everybody can be great …because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
We must support whoever the new Police Commissioner is no matter who she or he might be. QUOTE – This is a State Emergency- “We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
This is a message for our elected officials and the MD HBCU Case. U.S. Senator Cardin, Congressmen Cummings, and Mayor Pugh – QUOTE – “The ultimate measure of a man,” or woman,” “is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” We have heard from you Ben, Elijah and Catherine.
I challenge Maryland Attorney General Frosh on his appealing the HBCU Judges Decision on behalf of what appears to be his racist clients of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
MLK QUOTE – “When you are right you cannot be too radical, when you are wrong you cannot be too conservative.” MAHNA under my leadership was right when we called for the removal of the confederate statues in the Wyman Park area.
Everyone – look down at your shoes and say ouch- Say ouch in case I step on your toes. Guns in our houses, drugs under our beds, new clothes and cars, but we don’t have a legal job. MLK QUOTE – “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting it is really cooperating with it.”
Too Many of us, far too many of us don’t go to a church, mosque or synagogue, we don’t go to community meetings or PTA/PTO Meetings. MLK QUOTE – “People fail to get along because they fear each other – they fear each other because they don’t know each other – they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” MLK QUOTE – “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
OK as I begin to close. Did someone say amen to closing. HA HA HA
MLK QUOTE – “Our scientific power has outgrown our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” “History will have to record the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
“Of all the forms of inequality – INJUSTICE in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Madame Mayor and City Council we are requesting a food market back in the Freddie Gray food apartheid/desert area in the 1500 block of N. Monroe Street.
If you believe we can and must try to do more and better for ourselves Please stand up, please stand up if you feel we can and must do more and better and repeat after me. I AM CONCENED
I WILL GET INVOLVED AND
I WILL STAY COMMITTED.
"...Dr. Marvin L. 'Doc' Cheatham, Sr. may be the only servant leader in America that has served as the elected local city President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Southern Christian Leadership Conference and National Action Network, the nations' current leading civil rights organizations."
Please visit the following civil rights organizations websites to learn more about black history.