We are the Ones

selmaFrom the Vincent Harding’s Introduction to Martin Luther King’s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community: “In the light of King’s unstintingly accurate critique of his “beloved nation,” and his vision of our “higher destiny” as human beings, it was clear why he needed to believe in Tom Paine’s radical vision of our capacity “to begin the world over again,” moving toward “the final goal” of “genuine intergroup and interpersonal living.” Indeed, he seemed deeply in sync with James Baldwin’s urgent call to us to “realize ourselves” as an American family of many rich varieties. He was clearly attuned to Langston Hughes’s readiness to “swear this oath” that “America will be.” Indeed he often seemed the prescient older brother to poet June Jordan and her conviction that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” to transform this reluctant nation into its best possible self.”


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