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Morehouse Is First Stop on Table of Brotherhood Project Discussion of King

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.



(Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011) -- The Rev. Otis Moss Jr. ’56 took the Table of Brotherhood Project audience on a quick oral tour of the Auburn Avenue that Martin Luther King Jr. ’48 would have walked down as a youngster.

Strolling by churches, successful black businesses and positive black images, a young King saw that despite the racism of the times, he and other black people were destined for much more,

“He realized there was nothing wrong with him. There was something wrong with THEM,” Moss said to shouts from the audience of approximately 1,500 in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. “We’ve got to recreate that type of nurturing community. It seems to be an impossible task, but we’ve got to try anyway.”

Uplifting black communities was just one of the topics broached by Moss and a panel of experts from media, civil rights, entertainment, politics and business.

Sponsored by Chevrolet and the General Motors Foundation, the Table of Brotherhood Project is a four-city discussion tour of cities and places that were vital to King’s life, said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. Moderated by CNN’s Roland Martin and author Lisa Nichols, the talks delve into politics, health care, education and other pressing issues important to King and to today’s black community.

The tour goes to Memphis, Chicago and Washington, D.C., as a lead-in to the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on Aug. 28.

“We all know the importance of Morehouse to Dr. King,” Pickard said. “That’s why we’re here. We wanted to be in a venue that was significant and important to Dr. King. What better place could we be than Morehouse? The history here is phenomenal.”

Joining Moss on the Atlanta panel were civil rights activist and broadcast pioneer Xernona Clayton, GeorgiaForward executive director Amir Faroki, State Rep. Alicia Thomas Morgan, publisher Munson Steed ’88, Chevrolet dealer Warren “Greg” Cole, WVEE/V-103 program director Reggie Rouse and filmmaker Shelton ”Spike” Lee ’79.

“We have young black minds who somehow believe education equals ‘white’ and ignorance equals ‘black,’ which means you are ghetto or whatever ignorant term you want to use,” Lee said when the discussion turned to education.

“We’ve got to get back to education,” he said. “It’s suicide to make fun of young black minds that want to achieve. We’ve got to turn that around.”

Clayton said those kinds of changes begin with each individual.

“People ask all the time when is the next Martin Luther King Jr. coming,” she said. “Why are we waiting? Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t wait for anybody. Martin Luther King Jr. led because there was a need to change the climate and the tenor of this country. I think the young lady said it so aptly--that each of us can do something to make that change occur. We can be the agent of change.”

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