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What’s Past is Prologue – Lincoln, MLK and the State of the Dream
What’s past is prologue

Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” (WP7 491 – (link for WP9)
(Links to an external site.)
, Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” (link)
(Links to an external site.)
, The Civil War Amendments to the Constitution
(Links to an external site.)
, MLK “I Have a Dream” (WP7 701; WP9 link
(Links to an external site.)
), “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (WP7 716-733; WP 9 link
(Links to an external site.)
); Malcolm X “The Ballot or the Bullet”
(Links to an external site.)
and Maranzani, “Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X Met Only Once

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?
Read: Brooks, “People Like Us” (WP7 330; WP9 324), Rothstein, “The Neighborhoods We Will Not Share”
(Links to an external site.)
(link) and Michaels, “The Trouble with Diversity” (WP7 744; WP9 571)

The white man is too intelligent to let someone else come and gain control of the economy of his community. But you will let anyone come in and take control of the economy of your community, control the housing, control the education, control the jobs, control the businesses, under the pre-text that you want to integrate. No, you outta your mind. The political, the economic philosophy of Black Nationalism only means that we have to become involved in a program of re-education to educate our people into the importance of knowing that when you spend your dollar out of the community in which you live, the community in which you spend your money becomes richer and richer; the community out which you take your money becomes poorer and poorer. And because these Negroes, who have been mislead, misguided, are breaking their necks to take their money and spend it with The Man, The Man is becoming richer and richer, and you’re becoming poorer and poorer. And then what happens? The community in which you live becomes a slum. It becomes a ghetto. The conditions become run down. And then you have the audacity to complain about poor housing in a run-down community. Why you run it down yourself when you take your dollar out. And you and I are in the double-track, because not only do we lose by taking our money someplace else and spending it, when we try and spend it in our own community we’re trapped because we haven’t had sense enough to set up stores and control the businesses of our own community.

Malcolm X’s comments about the complexion of our communities speaks to the challenges of integration in housing – what Rothstein would call in his book, The Color of Law (see my book review
(Links to an external site.)
), the difference between de facto segregation (:resulting from economic or social factors rather than from laws or actions of the state) segregation, vs. de jure segregation (resulting from law and state action).

What are the implications if we live where we live simply because we feel more comfortable around people who look, think and believe like us? What if we live where we live because laws have been created in order to restrict the places where we can live because of the color of our skin? What makes up a community? Where would we want to live if we could live anywhere and how do we create communities that are more equitable and inclusive?

Crime and Punishment – Reading Fiction

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