Remembering James Groppi

Joey Ski (January 22, 2008)
Activist James Groppi (1930-1985) marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and others in the struggle for freedom.

This morning on the radio I caught Max Roach’s drum improvisation to Martin Luther King’s now famed 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.   Years of (s)hallow tributes featuring truncated quotes from the finale can not detract from King’s powerful oratory, which like the demonstration itself, helped “to dramatize a shameful condition.” The phrase “the fierce urgency of Now” remains a powerful rallying cry in our troubled times.

On this day when we examine anew how to, in Dr. King’s words, “hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope,” I pay tribute to James Groppi.





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