MLK’s 2018 legacy: Say ‘no’ to evil, ‘yes’ to unity and freedom

This year also marks the 191st year of the Black Press in America since this first publication of “Freedom’s Journal” in New York City on March 16, 1827. Every hour, day, week, month and year the Black Press continues to publish and distribute the truth and advocate for freedom and justice in the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean and throughout the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote editorials and op-eds for the Black Press at a time when the so-called mainstream media would cast negative coverage about the progress of the Civil Rights Movement.
This year, 2018, should be the payback year with the largest Black voter turnout in American history. All of those repressive elected politicians that have supported voter suppression need to be removed from office by the overwhelming power of massive voter mobilization and turnout in every state legislative and congressional voting district across the nation. Our time has come again. Let’s unify and win more victories at the voting booths. Let’s strengthen Black-owned businesses, and our families and communities. Subscribe to and support the Black Press.
We owe it to the memory and living legacy of Dr. King to strengthen and refortify all our national civil rights organizations. We should all be networking together with stronger operational unity. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has elected the new leadership of Derrick Johnson, and we all should be card-carrying members of the NAACP. The African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa has elected the new leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa, and we all should be supportive of the ANC to ensure that Nelson Mandela’s and Oliver Tambo’s legacies are carried forward to new heights in South Africa.
In fact, throughout the African diaspora, we should be unifying and working together with a renewed energy, determination and vitality. Sisters and brothers standing together with mutual respect and commitment is the order of today. Keep your heads up. Put your fists back up in the air. It is movement-building time again. Long live the spirit and memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.!
(Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is the president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and can be reached at You can follow Dr. Chavis on Twitter @DrBenChavis.)
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