Ending a tradition of 20 years' standing, San Francisco today will have no large rally and march honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
... the Northern California Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance Committee... after more than two decades of planning San Francisco's annual celebration... abruptly disbanded in December.
[Rev. Cecil] Williams and four board members cited declining participant numbers over the years and sensed it was time to pass the torch to younger activists.
"A lot of us who spent many, many years marching outside have moved inside," said the 80-year-old Williams, head of the Glide Foundation in the Tenderloin. "We've been out there for a long time, and we decided we were ready to pull back and let the new leadership emerge."
Martin Luther King, Jr. changed America for the better, no question, and remains a hero to those who lived through the era of the civil rights struggle. His assassination caused a national trauma from which we still suffer. But as is true with all charismatic leaders who transform people's consciousness, time marches on. Those who lived the struggle are aging, to be replaced by those who have no conscious memory.
Unquestionably, Martin Luther King Jr. will remain an important figure in American history. But this ending of the rally and march in one of America's major cities is notable. Will his emphasis on nonviolence be lost along with the waning enthusiasm for celebrating his memory?
Hat tip: MS