Summary: Do those who were oppressed become the new oppressors, stealing away those Jesus, freed, indeed?
The Man, The Mission, The Time
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (January 20, 2014)
“And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day” (I Samuel 8:11-18, King James Version [Israel desireth a king]).
Greetings in the Holy Name of Jesus,
My brothers and my sisters, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Day, I pray you are in health and wealth. In the time of Martin Luther King, oppressed people greatly suffered disparagement and injustice especially in the diaspora of the deep south; some called it the deep dirty south. It was not so much that there was not enough for everyone in the deep south to abundantly live life, it was just that there were oppressors that felt they deserved more of the abundantly lived life than those they oppressed not by birthright or inheritance although many of those practiced not always as they preached but because of the wicked system they created on the local level and the state level made such a mess of living an abundant life the only relief was sought through the federal level. This time in the history of the United States of America grieved the citizens to despair but they found hope in leadership when they spoke out against oppression in their neighborhood church meetings. Now, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a product of the rumblings of leadership in his family's church in Atlanta, Georgia. This led him to join hands with other leaders to eventually say, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I am free at last” but the women still felt oppressed yet they stood next to their man.
Freedom for the oppressed women did not arrive at the same time the oppressed men felt liberated, for the women whose men did not champion freedom for them the door was still closed and the glass ceiling prevalent as they fought on their own to achieve the American dream. I say felt liberated because true liberation, freedom is as much a heartfelt matter and thought process as oppression corrupted the heart and perverted the mind until it was not easy to experience freedom as a received freedom but only as you felt the freedom in your day-to-day experiences (Sullivan, 2006). According to Ruth (2:23), she created a life for herself and mother-in-law Naomi, since the death of her husband gleaning the barley harvest and wheat harvest of her mother-in-law's, next kin Boaz (2:20; Bassler, 2007). This is why many folks not only in the deep south but especially in the deep south still felt lost, without the saving grace of Jesus, their hearts conflicted with darkness rejected that which Jesus gave them to receive; they felt less the freedom of grace in their day-to-day experiences and more the black dominance that came out of the white dominance. In this regard, the oppressed men in the time of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s efforts until his death stepped into mainstream America via the music industry and the sports arenas and found themselves surrounded by the powers of ruler ship or icons that controlled them in those industries.
In the time of Martin Luther King, Jr. the black churches were the predominant industry of African-Americans, slave descendants, it was all they had to generate wealth in their neighborhoods even today, for in 1995 religious organizations in the United States received $60 billion, significantly enough to
care for the people, which was 44 percent of all charitable giving for that year yet the corruption in the churches similar to the church in Corinth in the Holy Bible created a void in the neighborhood of lack instead of their cup flowing over (I & II Corinthians; Blanchard, 2007; Chafetz, Ebaugh, & Pipes, 2006; Sullivan, 2006). Martin's fervor in speech placed him in the center of fighting for the civil rights of what some people called a forgotten people without economic power, deprived of the true fruits of their labor, lost in the world without God and the saving grace of Jesus who God sent to them (Cavalcanti, Parente, & Zhao, 2007). Martin Luther King, Jr.'s travels included Camilla, Georgia, the town of my ancestors and where I currently live, although I am 10 miles to the east in a rural unincorporated farming area called Greenough, Camilla, Georgia. Recently, I found that in 1962, Martin Luther King, Jr. came to the jail in Camilla to free 66 of the protestors who marched in the Civil Rights Movement with him in Albany, Georgia. According to the news article, “MLK observance held on Marine Base” by Dave Miller (WALB.com, January 14, 2014), the anecdotal details of the incarceration of the 66 girls during a week in July 1962 is depicted in a book of a personal story “Beneath the Bars of Justice” by Sandra Webb. At the time of the arrest in Camilla, I was six years old and my mother and father lived only summer times in Greenough, Camilla, Georgia.