The Top Stories of Today that Might Make Dr. King ask ‘What is America’s Blueprint?’ – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

It’s been a wild and crazy time in social anxiety and political discourse over the past few days, and even over many months. The list of mouth-dropping moments is still growing. As the nation celebrates another Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, many consider throwback moments from his day compared to today.

During his time King delivered inspiring messages of hope and social change. Sometimes it was in written form like his letter from a Birmingham jail. Other times it was through his oratorical genius heard in the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. His life’s work continues to challenge the powerful and empower the masses.

There was his 1967 speech to a Philadelphia High School where he asked students to consider their life’s Blueprint. He told them that it’s important to have a great sense of self-worth as well as a determination to achieve excellence. He also encouraged a commitment to principles of beauty, love and justice.

He ended by saying no matter the challenge whether social or personal, they should just keep moving. That’s a theme that would apply today as we consider top news stories and ask ourselves ‘What is America’s Blueprint?’ The answer needs to be more than just political talking points as we consider:

  1. What gives us the honor of being America the brave?
  2. How do we take pride in being America the beautiful?
  3. How do we improve the standing of America the brand?
  4. What keeps us moving towards being America the best?

A tragic fire in the Bronx a few weeks ago took the life of an American soldier. It was reported he went back in the building many times to rescue others. He lost his life in the process. There’s no question that he was an example of America the brave. He didn’t die fighting a war but warring the fight to save others.

These days there’s a fight for truth on our hands. It takes being ‘America the brave’ where loyalty doesn’t get confused with its newest form of lie-alty. Dr. King once said “To ignore evil is to become accomplice to it.” Well, today he might update those words in saying “To ignore lie-alty is to become accomplice to it.”

The Superbowl show lineup is set to include a performance of America the Beautiful by Leslie Odom Jr. The national anthem will be sung by P!nk and the halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake. But it’s more than just a song and a dance in these performances that will help us take pride in America the beautiful.

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King would remind us that we fall short of America the beautiful if we glorify the flag but decry the ideals of the Constitution. We fall short if we elevate hate but denigrate love. We fall short if we multiply our economics but divide our politics. We fall short if socialism benefits the rich and capitalism hurts the poor.

Some recent news stories make us wonder about the effects on America the brand. Having migrated to the US over 35 years ago, there’s a sense for the ‘before and after’ experience. For many, before coming to America there’s a sense of awe and wonder. After coming to America it’s a sense of wonder and awe.

On the inside you see the winning formula of ‘America the brand’ is its diversity. That diversity is built on being an immigrant nation. So can ‘America the brand’ improve its standing by damaging the winning formula? That’s the question to be answered by political leaders if they want America to keep its magic.

These days King might have a problem with many of the policy reversals underway. America’s history has had its moments of choosing between settling or rising. It’s like a bottle of juice or liquor that sits for a long time. They’ll need a little stirring or shaking-up to get the full measure of taste and enjoyment.

King reminds us that it’ll take a drum major instinct to shake things up, keep things moving and get the full measure of America’s promise. Sometimes it’s being a drum major for dignity, for excellence, for purpose. We get to ‘America the best’ by being a drum major for justice or at least standing up for something.

Tip: We’ll keep celebrating America the beautiful and moving towards America the best by being a drum major for justice or at least standing up for something.

Talkback: How are you being a drum major socially, professionally, in the community or in pop culture?

Tracks: Bob Marley – Keep on Moving – https://youtu.be/tsjVzuUg4qo

Andra Day ft Common – Stand for Something –  https://youtu.be/2GhY7qXGx-0

Bernice King & Elizabeth Warren on How We Persisted Then and Can Do it Again – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

“Sistas how ya feel? Brothers you alright?” These words from a popular song are good for lyrics and civics for what can be achieved in the next phase of social engagement. It’s a lead-in to the kind of intro that Bernice King or Senator Elizabeth Warren might use on how we persisted then and can do it again.

King and Warren recently began setting our sights and setting the stage for new rounds in dignity, excellence and justice. They know two key things for going where we’ve not been before. It takes a destination and a map. Without a map we’re just winging it. Without a destination we’re just blowing it.

It’s a message Dr. King and President John F Kennedy wanted us to know in the short letter dug-up in ‘lost & found’ and recently posted on social media for the world to see. In a speech King gave in 1967 to Philadelphia students he asked them to consider having a blueprint that would be useful for being fruitful.

A blueprint is just as important for Community 3.0. Think about what a microwave has done for meal preparation. It’s improved how we thaw, heat and serve food. So King and Kennedy might #LetThePeopleKnow Community 3.0 has a blueprint to thaw tensions, heat dreams and serve smarts in:

  1. What we do to encourage ourselves during those vexing times.
  2. How we empower blocks & beats in the community.
  3. When we explain the in-and-outs of politics of the day.
  4. Ways we entertain people’s fun-side for more good times.

Since a recent online post, Bernice has been giving reminders for handling those vexing times. Just imagine the things she saw growing up as a child in the King household. With all that was happening around them and even happened to them they kept their eyes on the prize and hands on the wheel.

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The steps taken then might apply today. They focused on fighting the good fight, representing the race (plus shaking-up the place) by keeping the faith. That’s the formula used to overcome throughout our history. It’s how slavery chains got lifted, Jim Crow clouds cleared & homegrown conspiracies shutdown.

One of the ways a community might do this is in how we empower blocks and beats using a blueprint. Among the highest rated episodes from Oprah’s daytime show was when she gave away a car to each member of the audience. It was up there with the most talked about and uplifting pop culture moments.

The buzz was ‘you get a car, you get a car, er’body gets a car!’ That might work just as well in Community 3.0 if instead of a car it’s letting blocks get a ‘P.E.N. & C.L.U.E. Blueprint’ as People Engage Notes in a Community Letter Uplifting Everyone. It’s like a social postcard and stamp for getting from here to there.

This way for block after block it’s more like ’you get CLUE, you get a CLUE, er’body gets a CLUE!’ It would help do what Dr. King told us in his speeches, moving towards achieving more hometown respect and personal satisfaction. It might also be a CLUE in explaining the ins-and-out of politics of the day.

At times it’s hard to know if we’re being ‘played’ by some in government. We get ‘talked to’ but not ‘talked with.’ It’s not even clear when we’re ‘talked with’ if we’re actually being ‘talked over.’ The political machine seems more focused on voters who’re core nationalists, unsure working class and pure party loyalists.

Where some fall short Community 3.0 stands tall. As in the past it’s how community players and recording artists become a voice track of our days and groove track of our lives. We can let things become ‘played’ like a broken record or press the social impact ‘microwave buttons’ of change, progress and greatness.

This might also mean new ways to entertain people’s fun-side for more good times. How we entertain today in Community 3.0 was seen with recent Grammy performances. So as Mission Ready Blocks (MRBs) we gotta let purpose move hearts. With Mission Rockin’ Beats we gotta let the groove move feet.

That’s what happened back in the day when we tuned-in to watch Soul Train hosted by Don Cornelius. It was a time to rest, reflect and rejuvenate with some R&B. The dance moves were kinda like a bonus feature. Cornelius would end each broadcast saying ‘until next time, wishing you love, peace and soul.’

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We learn from and are inspired by our cultural icons of old and those we now hold. Warren as a champion for consumer protections walks in the shoes of John F Kennedy. While Bernice walks in the shoes of Martin Luther King Jr. as a champion for her mother’s voice, father’s vision and parent’s legacy.

In Martin & Coretta we have closing thoughts on giving the people what they want and serving them what they need. She once said “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved you must become its soul.” He said “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl but by all means keep moving.”

Groove-tracks: Soul II Soul – Keep on Movin’ – https://youtu.be/1iQl46-zIcM

John Legend – Get Lifted – https://youtu.be/MSpPpLDYZeQ