tv Government Access Programming SFGTV March 1, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PST
we want to welcome you to the martin luther king, jr. 50-year memorial commemoration. my name is aaron grisell, the executive director of the northern california dr. martin luther king, jr. community foundation and again, we want to welcome you here today. on april 4, 1968, at the lorraine motel in memphis, tennessee, dr. king, guess it was around 6:30 in the afternoon, weary body, tired, came out and they were headed out to a meeting and, rang out, standing on the landing there at the lorraine motel, with 3 or 4
folks, jesse jackson on one side, and shots rang out and hit dr. king. he fell and was pronounced dead at the hospital and was moved to a mortuary about six blocks from the motel. that shot changed america. it changed america in a way that enlivened our senses to what it means to treat persons as persons. that all of us are persons. and all of us have human dignity, inately, in and of ourselves. the day after dr. king died, nearly 7,000 people were standing outside at civic center plaza here right outside these
front doors mourning the death of dr. king, understanding the significance of his life and the impact of his death. three days later, 10,000 people were up on knob hill at grace cathedral, again mourning dr. king's death and celebrating his life and what he did. he was not very popular at the time he died because he made a statement, and he made a statement of the inalienable rights and human rights, merging problem with america and problem globally in his pronouncement against the vietnam war in 1967. so he was not very popular. but when he died, the whole world understood and america understood the significance of this one life and what it meant. we have come here 50 years later to recognize that life here in the city and county of san francisco.
and we wanted to do it in a way where we discussed and had these very important voices speak about dr. king in his various capacity as an enter religious witness, king and justice, king and action, king in faith and king in community. we wanted to talk about that. we wanted to intersperse that with a music group, from dr. king's era, and what it is we have been striving for, and that is beloved community. and so we welcome you here today and we want to start by bringing here to the stage here to talk about king and interreligious witness, the reverend eric
matoius, episcopal diocese of california, and representing the bishop of california. >> thank you very much, aaron. honored guests, friends, good morning. i bring you greetings, good morning, i bring you greetings from bishop mark anddras, episcopal bishop of california, and send greetings and love to be with you on this important event at this important day. speaking about the interfaith, interreligious witness of dr. king. we have to remember that dr. king always spoke about building the beloved community. that the goals to create a beloved community as he wrote, that will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as
quantitative change in our lives. you know, dr. king had traveled around the world, he had visited india, africa, europe. he had come to san francisco several times. spoke outside city hall, spoke in the churches, at grace cathedral. he had brought so many people together who were committed to the cause of civil rights. committed to the cause of human justice. he was following in the footsteps, taught by gandhi of which he said he was the first person to live this love ethic above mere interaction of individuals into a powerful and effective force to change the work of the world but you had to be committed. absolutely will to be committed. had to be as committed as the
people he gathered around him in montgomery, and the people in atlanta. you could not be committed to the cause of civil rights and human justice. if you recall from the letter of birmingham jail, he wrote to the people who were the moderates who said he was moving too fast. that he needed to slow down. and challenged them by saying you are a great stumbling block in the stride towards freedom. you are more devoted to order than justice. who prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension, to the positive peace which is the positive side of justice. to be able to see a timetable for another man's freedom, we have to continue to strive forward to freedom. and in this work, if you were
committed to the work of justice, you are committed and you are a friend of dr. king, you are a friend of all those who are committed to this work. he had bonds of affection with people like technak hahn, and rabbi hessel, in my office, i have two photographs over my desk. one photograph of him speaking at a press conference at grace cathedral. at a microphone like this. on one side is bishop james pike, of grace cathedral, on the other side is reverend fred abernathy, part of the southern leadership conference and you could see the interfaith cooperation dedicated to changing the cause of justice and that photo was taken five days after the completion of the march in selma. probably the most important photograph i have is one where
he is linked arm in arm with people such as carmichael, abraham joshua hechel, c.t. vivian, with james -- with so many people, with nuns and clerics from many denominations, united and committed to the cause of freedom. and as aaron pointed out, towards the end of his life he was not popular because people separated the cause of civil rights from the cause of human justice. and that's what the cause is. we have committed across our spectrum, we are committed to be changing for a better world, to be changing for human rights, to be changing to an end of economic injustice, as i see outside of us here in this gathering, i see the beloved
community. i see people who are committed to making that change, and i pray, i pray today that we continue to do this work towards the beloved community. to make qualitative and quantitative changes in our lives, to be able to work towards justice, to make no peace with oppression, and be committed as much as on the monument to dr. king at yerba buena garden, the ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort or convenience, but when, where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. may the all the continue to bless you on this day. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you, reverend. here to speak about king and justice, we have the executive director and general counsel of the bar association of san francisco. miss yolanda jackson. [applause] >> good evening, everybody. thank you for taking time out to come and celebrate a man who will forever go down in history as a man who changed lives in this country. he was a drum major for justice. december 5, 1955, in montgomery, alabama where it all began. at a meeting of thousands at the holt street baptist church, a meeting led by the reverend dr. king, to the meeting was to shape the montgomery west boycotts and this meeting came shortly after the arrest of rosa
parks, and it came three months following the murder of 14-year-old emmett till. this was the beginning of the movement. to energize and rally black people around the boycott, dr. king stated with power and in front of a vibrant crowd the following. he says there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression. there comes a time, my friends, when people get tired of being plunged across the abyss of humiliation, experience the bleakness of nagging despair. there comes an time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life july and left standing among the piercing chill of an alpine november. there comes a time. my friends, we are in an alpine november. he then goes on to say it is not enough for us to talk about
love. love is one of the pivotal points of the christian faith. there is another side called justice, and justice is really love in calculation. standing beside love is always justice and we are only using the tools of justice. not only are we using the tools of persuasion, but we are using, but we have come to see that we have got to use the tools of coercion, not only is this thing a process of education, but it is also a process of legislation. this was 63 very long years ago. but yet everything that he preached about that evening is equally relevant today. i am very, very sad to say. dr. king's work with his boycott and his work through the southern christian leadership council, the sclc which he
formed led to many of the laws that we currently know in this country. laws that we currently use to defend our rights and ourselves. these laws were meant to establish equality and fairness. the work is responsible for court cases and legislation that we now commonly refer to as gail b. broughter, desegregation act of 1961, the free riots, led to the civil rights act of 1963, the campaigns in st. augustine, florida and selma, alabama, which led to the voting rights acts of 1965. are we still, are we not currently litigating cases today to protect our civil and voting rights? we all know that we are. dr. king was not a lawyer, he was a minister. he was a visionary, and he understood better than most people the human condition, irrespective of race.
he understood strategic planning, and he was a brilliant and relentless man. as you know, many of his efforts shaped many of the cases and legislative laws that we have in our country. as we know, he did not do this alone. he knew that he needed other skills in this fight with him. i would describe dr. king as the boots on the ground activist. he enlisted marshall, the l litigator, and dr. king understand the power of the law in the civil rights movement. emmett till, we are finding ourselves facing the same battle 50 years later after the death of dr. king. finding ourselves fighting new realms of modern day battles on
the same exact issues. trayvon martin, stephon clark, oscar grant. studies show that unarmed black people are killed five times the rate as unarmed white people in the united states. 2015, 104 cases involving black people killed by the police and only 13 of those cases were charges actually file against the officers. we hear that laws in most states make it really difficult for district attorneys to charge the police and to prevail in the case. to that i say it may be difficult but not impossible. are we not still litigating voting rights cases? mandating voter i.d., purging from voting rolls people who vote infrequently, randomly doing so? all current and pending lawsuits in the country right now.
this is exactly what dr. king meant when he said love and justice go together. this is what he meant when he said the moral arc of the universe is long but bends towards justice. he meant the journey to justice may be slow but will definitely some come, let us all leave here committed to the equality and justice did not die with him. he inspired lawyers to work on these complicated and difficult issues over 60 years ago, and i am here today to inspire all of you, especially the lawyers and the legislators, to continue to work to bend the arc towards justice. i will leave you with another quote of our civil rights icon. justice is something meant to be handled at the present moment. this is so because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. if african americans are suffering from injustice and
inequality, latino brothers and sisters, women, and lgbt neighbors. dr. king knew that protests were great and had a role because they were able to raise awareness. but he also knew that legislation and lawsuits are what changed the game. they changed the rules. justice must be handled by us in this moment. so, there we stand up, handle our business? the moment is now. thank you, dr. king, for laying the ground work and the road map for us. and now we will take it from here. rest in peace in paradise and thank you, san francisco, for remembering such a wonderful man. [applause] >> thank you, yolanda jackson. we are going to adjust the order
a bit and bring to the podium our president of the san francisco board of supervisors, the honorable london breed. [applause] [applause] >> good afternoon -- oh, it's still morning. good morning, everybody. happy to see he each and every one of you here today as we celebrate one of our legendary heroes. a year before dr. king died he delivered a speech about the urgency of now. beyond his speech beyond vietnam, a time to break our silence was a call to action. a call to christians to oppose
the war on vietnam, to oppose a number of issues that sadly continue to impact our communities this very day. we honor dr. king every year during the holiday in celebration of his birthday. today we honor him as a way to remind people that his death, his death is not in vain. his death is not in vain because we will take the lessons that we learned and we will apply them to everything that we are here to do today. had it not been for his call to action during a time when many christians actually turned their backs on him for delivering such a speech, had he not stood up for the injustice then, people like me who serve as a member of the president of the board of supervisors would not be here.
people like john sanford and yolanda williams who serve in the police department here in san francisco, and are in charge of an incredible organization, officers for justice, would not be continuing their work. today we call on the spirit of dr. king to propose the fierce urgency of now. why now? why not yesterday? why not tomorrow? we have to live in the moment of what we know is happening right now here in san francisco and all over our country. the kind of discrimination that dr. king preached against, the kind of hatred and violence. it is alive and well today and especially in what's happening with washington d.c. when we are under attack, our immigrant brothers and sisters, by our own leader of this
country, we know there is work to do. when people in our communities are suffering and we propose to spend money on building a wall rather than a bridge between communities, we know that there is work to do. [applause] when we see what's happening on our streets every single day with substance abuse challenges, and mental health challenges, and we are not willing to take bold creative new steps to address that challenge, we know that we have work to do. here in san francisco we have come a long way. i think about the days when i grew up in the 1970s and the 1980s in public housing and how during that time we didn't even have conversations with the police department. and the work that we did to bridge the gap between the police department and folks in
the western addition, it was hard work, it was necessary work but has been effective. we have officers who have great relationships with our community, and when we see what's happening all over our country with the tension and the violence and the divisiveness, we know here in san francisco that hatred is not going to solve this issue. bringing everyone together and teaching the principles of dr. king, the principles of love, the principles of justice. those are the things that are going to unite us as a community so that we can deal with those issues that continue to sadly divide us. we know in san francisco there is so much work to do and i am proud to be someone who works for the legislative body of the city, to lead the legislative body of the city to propose the kind of changes that i hope will have an impact on somebody's
life. when we pass neighborhood preference legislation, we we wewer wewer werwere were fortunate, and now a safe affordable place to call home. san francisco less than 3% unemployment rate, we still have a high unemployment rate in the african american community and we know there is still work to do in terms of outreach, in terms of opportunity, in terms of holding companies in this city accountable to provide long-term solutions to our employment challenges. the fierce urgency of now means that even in disagreement, even when we have differences of opinion, let's not hate each other. let's show love to one another. let's remember dr. king and work together. even when we are upset, even
when we are hurt, by the loss of a loved one, let's come together as a community. let's come together as a community and solve these issues. let's come together as a community and show support to one another. let's come together as a community to make dr. king's dream a reality for everybody. i am looking forward to the day in san francisco where we don't have tents on our streets because people are housed. i am looking forward to the day in san francisco where the african american populations actually increases instead of decreases. i am looking forward to the day when kids in our public schools graduate and work for the tech companies and all the other corporations and running those companies here in the city.
i'm looking forward to the day when our young people grow up in public housing, like john sanford, who is now working for san francisco police department and bridging the gap between our communities and our police department. i'm looking forward to a great day in san francisco and if that great day comes, hopefully while i'm still alive, i know that dr. king will smile down on this city and be very proud of each and every one of us. thank you all so much for being here today. [applause] >> thank you, president breed. we have with us a group of singers who were birthed out of
a group, a world famous group that was founded right here in the bay area, the walter and edwin hawkins singers. saturday at the deyoung museum we had a wonderful time and they really, really, really turned it out. ladies and gentlemen, for the first musical selection, rusty watson and friends. [applause] >> good morning. can you hear me? wonderful. i'm going to be joined by a friend of one of our friends, her name is april wright hickerson. come on, april. the first song we are going to do is a song written by the father of a gospel music, thomas
[applause] >> thank you, rusty watson. that was dr. king's favorite song. whenever he was down and whenever he was out, he would call upon that song to give him encouragement. often times he would actually call on mahalia jackson to sing that song to him. thank you again, rusty watson. and now we want to discuss king and faith. we have in san francisco one of only eight persons to ever take a class from dr. king. he has been a fixture in san francisco for over 40 years as a
senior minister of third baptist church. and for four of those years, as one of your representatives on the san francisco board of supervisors. here to talk to us very briefly about king and faith, the reverend dr. amos c. brown. [applause] >> good morning. to brother grisell, the moving spirit behind our annual observance of the birthday of
dr. martin luther king, jr. let's give brother grisell a hand for his endurance. and his pit bulldog determination to keep us aware that there was a man in the land named dr. martin luther king, jr. reverend, clergy, other members of the platform and to our president of the board of supervisors, sister london breed who spoke so eloquently, and with great substance, and
for this prophet, priest, preacher, on his first appearance in san francisco, at what has now been designated the historic third baptist church. i discovered when i went over to the library thank god brother shimone for the library. when you really want to know the facts, and not alternative facts. you can go and get the facts yourself. and i discovered on yesterday down in mississippi they say
yestidy, i discovered yesterday, that on february 24th, 1958, there was an article in the "chronicle" which read, and i wrote it, "segregation dead, says negro pastor," we were negros then. the reverend martin luther king, jr. who led the negro bus boycott in montgomery, alabama, two years ago, declared here yesterday that segregation is dead as a door nail. the only thing i'm uncertain about is the day of his burial, he said, attributed the death of
segregation to the supreme court decision outlawing it in public schools, and to world opinion, and the power of god. listen to this. the young minister said, he had assumed his duties in montgomery with a deep concern for social justice and social problems. he goes on to say, it was not enough for me to just preach on sunday morning about trying to correct the social conditions that often make people bad, he said. the reverend mr. king addressed a standing room only congregation of more than 1,000
persons yesterday morning in the third baptist church, 1399 mcallister street, end of the article. it wasn't enough for me to just preach on sunday about trying to correct the social conditions that often make people mad. going further, there was a well-known preacher of yesteryear who between the 1930s and 1960s fed the hungry, built
houses, got people out of jail, his name was sweet daddy grace. sweet daddy grace had many congregations from boston down to florida. one day a young white reporter asked brother grisell how is it that you've been so successful? all these thousands of people following you? sweet daddy looked at him and said, boy, it's a simple matter. i just learned how to tangibilitate the gospel. my friends, before i take my seat, let me say to you that the faith of my teacher and friend, dr. king, was the faith that was
embraced by preachers, a new breed, that knew how to tangibilitate the gospel. this preacher, dr. king, was a man who sat at the feet of one edgar sethfield wrightman in boston university, and in that course in philosophy, he heard dr. brightman propound the notion of personalism. that is to suggest that every person, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, are where your mama, your daddy were born, were entitled to being respected
as a person and never treated as a thing, as a number of those people. we thank god that dr. king didn't let nobody mess with his religion. he had good religion. there's an old negro spiritual we used to sing, have you got good religion, and they would all say certainly, lord. have you got good religion, certainly lord. well, if you've got good religion, if you got a good faith, you know that religion and faith at its best does not push people aside. does not divide folks. does not beat up on folks. does not tell people how bad they are. but the religion shows folk how they can become better than who they are. thank you god for dr. king who embraced personalism, who said i'm not going to support a war
in vietnam because i respect the personalhood of children and vietnam who will be killed by bombs, bullets. thank goodness for dr. king, stood up for gay folks, god cares everybody. and not a word who you slept with but how you treat your neighbor and whether or not you have loved them as i have loved you. thank god for dr. king who was concerned about those locked up in prison and followed a jesus who said the spirit of the lord is upon me. anointed me to preach good news to the poor. enabled me to unstop deaf ears, to set the captors free. thank god for dr. king foretold what would happen in america with the prison industrial
complex, more folks locked up in jail in mississippi and california and georgia than there are in yale university. thank you god for dr. king, what went all the way and loved everybody and then has a certain person who he loved. thank god for dr. king who tangibilitated the gospel of jesus. and before i take my seat, let me say it's time that san francisco tangibilitates the gospel and stop pushing black folk out of san francisco. if you are a city, if you are a city that's progressive and liberal, show your progressiveness by sharing your money with black folk, by sharing your politics with black folks, by sharing your love with black folks, that we may say there is a city where we are beloved in the community and
everybody is somebody, and when we do that, the day will come. we will all be able to say i'm black and i'm proud, brown and sound, i'm yellow and mellow, red but i ain't dead, i'm white and i'm all right. i'm gay but godly, i'm a woman but i'm wise. i'm straight but i'm sensible. an immigrant but industrious. i am somebody. thank god for dr. king, thank god for his faith, thank god for his love, thank god he stayed there until death took him home. have a good day. [applause] >> thank you, dr. brown.
our last speaker is our newest member of the ministry here in san francisco. she is the reverend anne champion shaw. she is the associate pastor of the historic bethel african methodist episcopal church, and she will conclude our speakers with dr. king and action. reverend champion shaw. [applause] >> good afternoon. truly it is a blessing to be here on today for the martin luther king, jr. 50-year
memorial commemoration. i bring you greetings from bethel church, 916 laguna street, where my beloved, robert rawlins shaw is the senior pastor. thank you so much, brother, for this opportunity to come and speak on today. he was a king in action. a man who not only talked the talk, but who walked the walk. king's nonviolent style of leadership carried the bus boycott movement of montgomery, alabama, which ruled
bus segregation as unconstitutional. he led the birmingham boycott, which ended the laws allowing businesses and restaurants to serve african american patrons. for the memorable march on washington in 1963, he helped to lead over 200,000 people on lincoln memorial, which was crucial in passing the civil rights act that outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or origin. and even 50 years ago on this day, april 4th, in memphis, tennessee, he reached out to those who are economically deprived through his poor
peoples campaign where he walked and stood with the memphis sanitation workers, doing their strike, all before being gunned down at the lorraine motel. he committed every fiber of his being to actively serving others and ensuring that all had justice. justice. that every american should be afforded which was contrary to the just-us, that was only reserved for some. king fought for this all justice
until he took his final breath. dr. king once said "human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle." tireless exertion and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. every step toward the goal of justice, king says. so let us follow in dr. king's footsteps and step up. step up, san francisco. step up in our school so that every child is afforded a good education. step up, step up in our
neighborhoods, churches, social and civic organizations. to have all have a fair chance in life. step up, let everyone, every individual do a part to serve our city, our nation, and world in making it a better place. when we all do, then we will truly be free at last, god bless. [applause] >> thank you, dr., reverend champion, she's a doctor to me. we thank all of our speakers today and we want to end this 50-year memorial commemoration with a song.
short story, in 1968, we not only witnessed the tragedy of the death of dr. king, the tragedies of the death of robert kennedy, the tragedy of young people being shipped over the pacific for a reason they did not know why to come back home, troubled in mind, broken in body, protests in the streets, we had riots in our streets, we had all of this going on, and in san francisco, in berkeley, a group of young people, 1968, gathered in a little church over in berkeley with two young men, penned a song and that song rang out throughout the world and what it said to everyone is that
♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ when jesus walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ oh, when he walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ when jesus walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ jesus walked
♪ when jesus walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ he washed sins away ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ he taught me how ♪ he taught me how ♪ to walk ♪ oh, yeah ♪ oh right as rain ♪ oh, yeah, yeah ♪ and when we see ♪ yeah, yeah happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day
♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ when i get to heaven ♪ oh happy day ♪ i'm gonna tell the news ♪ oh happy day ♪ will not be no one man ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ when jesus walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ oh when he walked ♪ when jesus walked
♪ when jesus walked ♪ when jesus walked ♪ he wiped our sins away ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ my lord ♪ oh happy day ♪ good guy ♪ oh happy day ♪ greatest day of my life ♪ oh happy day ♪ when jesus stepped into my heart ♪ ♪ oh happy day ♪ and washed all of my sins away ♪ ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh, yes, he did ♪ oh happy day ♪ and he'll do the same for you ♪ ♪ oh happy day ♪ yes, he will ♪ all you got to do is open up your heart right now ♪ ♪ oh happy day ♪ jesus is standing at your heart's door ♪ ♪ oh happy day ♪ why don't you let him in
♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ now when i get to heaven, my lord ♪ ♪ i'm gonna jump and shout ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ the son who put me out ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ happy day ♪ oh happy day ♪ happy day ♪ when jesus walked ♪ when he washed ♪ when jesus washed ♪ when jesus washed, he washed
my sins away ♪ ♪ oh happy day ♪ oh, yes ♪ oh happy day >> and as the music keeps playing, just very lightly, we want to give an acknowledgment to a couple of people who are here with us today as special guests. the sheriff of the san francisco county sheriff's department, sheriff vickie hennessey is here, and shimon wanton from the san francisco school board, reverend arnold townsend, the