Janet Sumner Johnson
About Author Visits Blog Books Events Contact PB&J Society

Martin Luther King Jr.

Wise Words

Jan

19, 2015 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hope you all have a great day, as we remember the wisdom of a man who understood the power of love.

Speak up:

3 comments

| TAGS:

, , , , ,

“The Butler” and Standing Up for What You Believe

Jun

16, 2014 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

This weekend I finally saw Lee Daniel’s The Butler. Yes, yes,
I’m behind in the movie-going world, but that’s what you get when you have 3
kids and a husband still in training. (Let’s just say the medical path is a long one, my
friends).

But getting back to the point, this movie had me all over
the emotional chart. You read about the civil rights movement, and the events
and the horrors, but it’s different seeing it a bit closer. So much courage! So
much patience. I am in awe of Martin Luther King Jr. and his conviction and
understanding of how to change people’s minds. He and Dumbledore would get
along great, because the answer really is LOVE. And the world desperately needs
more men and women like him.

But I digress. There is so much I could say about this
movie, but I won’t. I’m choosing to focus on one aspect. One aspect that is the
main theme, but I feel gets buried a bit by the end.

You see, the movie does this amazing job of showing the parallel
lives of Mr. Cecil Gaines and his son, Louis. Cecil is a butler at the Whitehouse.
Louis is a Freedom Rider who takes part in the sit-in at Woolworths, and other infamous
events.

Louis is out doing. He is fighting for his freedom, and for
the freedoms of all African-Americans. He is brave. He sacrifices his time, his
safety, and even his family for what he believes. And he suffers. Countless
stints in jail. Beatings. Every time he stands up in protest, he risks death.
In short, he is a hero. Very obviously. No question.

And then there is Cecil. He does not fight. He plays the
role that society expects of him. Subservient. Soft-spoken. Not allowed to
express political views at the risk of losing his job. He is paid less than
white men doing the same job, but doesn’t even dare express discontent about
that (at least at first). In short he fears. Fears for his life. Fears for his
son’s life. And yet . . .

And yet, he is a noble figure. In his own way he is fighting,
too. It is not obvious. It is not brazen. But he is fighting, and his influence
is felt. At one point Louis speaks of his father with Martin Luther King, Jr.. Louis
has been ashamed of his father his whole life, but Dr. King responds with this:

“Young brother, the black domestic defy racial
stereotype about being hard working and trustworthy. It slowly tears down
racial hatred because it’s an example of a strong work ethic and dignified
character. Now while we perceive the butler to be mainly subservient, in many
ways they are subversive, without even knowing it.”

In short, Cecil is more powerful than either of them
realized. Cecil’s honest decency. His care and concern for others regardless of
their personal views. He influenced people. He changed them.

There are so many parallels to this story in today’s world.
We are called on to stand up for what we believe in (whatever that may be).
Sometimes we think there is only one way to do that. That we must fight. We
must be brazen heroes like Louis, with courage that is obvious.

But quiet heroism. Love for others. Treating others kindly,
even when you know their views diametrically oppose yours. That is power, too.

**Don’t forget to enter for (link–>) a chance to win a Pre-order of RED BUTTERFLY**

Speak up:

5 comments

| TAGS:

, , , , ,

Happy Pre-Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Jan

14, 2011 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

One of the perks of having your children in school is that you get to re-learn a bunch of stuff you forgot, except now you actually APPRECIATE learning it.

And I’ve been appreciating the peaceful methods of Martin Luther King Jr. to make changes in a government that didn’t want to change. Hate and violence surrounded him, but he didn’t take the bait and retaliate. He didn’t give up because it was hard. He moved forward with a dream, and I think we could all use a little more of that in our lives.

So I want to wish you all a Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day today, since I will be enjoying my children on his holiday.

And just a quick reminder to weigh in on my latest This vs. That post if you haven’t had a chance!

Speak up:

16 comments

| TAGS:

, ,