The Fire Still Burns: #WeAreTheFirefightersTo the fires that are still burning and the firefighters – advocates, policymakers, organizers – who are working tirelessly to put them out.
April 4, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, the darkest day of 1968. It’s been five decades since his departure and the impact of his work has moved mountains in the areas of education, housing, voting rights and the labor movement (to name a few). The footprint of his work remains, and the issues he advocated for continue to be present.
Advancement Project’s national office is uplifting Dr. King’s powerful words that continue to ring true today. All day today, we are paying tribute to his legacy and the fight that continues. We are also celebrating today’s leaders who are fighting in the Movement.
During one of his last strategy meetings, Dr. King had a reflective conversation with Advancement Project board member Harry Belafonte about the state of the civil rights movement. In Mr. Belafonte’s speech titled, “We Must Unleash Radical Thought,” he recalls what he made of that memorable conversation:
“Yet [today] we suffer still from abject poverty and moral malnutrition. Our only hope lies in the recall of a moment which has been … referred to earlier here, and was my last meeting with Dr. King. It was just before he left to go off to Memphis to join the strike with sanitation workers. We held a strategy meeting … and Dr. King, during that meeting, appeared to be distracted and in a dark mood. When we asked him what was the matter he said, ‘we have come far in the struggle for integration, and although we may be winning some battles, we have not won the war. And I’ve come to the conclusion that in our struggle to integrate, we may be integrating into a burning house.’ … We found it deeply disturbing. And when we asked him if such was his belief, what would he have us do … his reply was, ‘we will have to become firemen.’”
Today, Advancement Project dedicates April 4, 2018, to the fires that are still burning and the firefighters – advocates, policymakers, organizers – who are working tirelessly to put them out. Follow Advancement Project’s Twitter or #WeAretheFirefighters all day today as we lead up to exact time that we lost our fearless leader – at 5:01 p.m. ET.
Join the conversation by telling the world who your fire burns for. Here are a few examples:
The fire burns for the thousands of detained immigrants without justice #WeAretheFirefighters
The fire burns for Stephon Clark and the Black and Brown lives whose lives were taken far too soon #WeAretheFirefighters
The fire burns for our children whose classrooms look more like prisons than sanctuaries #WeAretheFirefighters