It’s Martin Luther King day in the US today, and I managed to catch King’s “Birth of A New Nation” speech on KPFA’s Africa Today show this evening. The full speech is here but if you’ve a few minutes, it’s always heartstopping to hear Dr King preach.
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It’ll give you goosebumps no matter how much you hear but, for the rushed, jump on in at 39:30, which is where he says:
Ghana has something to say to us. It says to us first that the oppressor never voluntarily gives freedom to the oppressed. You have to work for it….If there had not been an Nkrumah and his followers in Ghana, Ghana would still be a British colony. If there had not been abolitionists in America, both Negro and white, we might still stand today in the dungeons of slavery. And then because there have been, in every period, there are always those people in every period of human history who don’t mind getting their necks cut off, who don’t mind being persecuted and discriminated and kicked about, because they know that freedom is never given out, but it comes through the persistent and the continual agitation and revolt on the part of those who are caught in the system. Ghana teaches us that.