- MLK lit the ESB in RBG
- Why Red, Black, and Green?
- Melanin puts the “B” in RBG
- Connecting RBG to MLK
- Emancipate Ourselves from Mental Slavery
Dr. Martin Luther King lit the Empire State Building Red, Black and Green
For over thirty years, the Empire State Building has honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a Red, Black and Green tower lighting. January 18, 2016 the Empire State Building was lit Red, Black and Green on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was also lit RBG January 16, 2017 and January 15, 2018. For that reason we say: Dr. Martin Luther King Lit The Empire State Building Red, Black and Green.
Note: The Red, Black and Green colors of Africans at home and abroad began its 100th year which we call #RBG100 on August 13, 2020. The Empire State Building will once again honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a Red, Black, and Green tower lighting on January 1, 2023. Watch the lighting live at the link here via Earthcam or here via Skyline.
Watch a fascinating time lapse of the Empire State Building being lit Red, Black and Green.
Why Red, Black, and Green?
Red, Black and Green declared to the world as the colors of ALL Black people in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on August 13, 1920.
The event was the thirteenth day of the first month long annual international convention of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. UNIA President General Marcus Mosiah Garvey chaired the event. The meeting was to sign and present the Declaration of Rights of the Negro People of the World for the very first time. Declaration 39 states: “That the colors, Red, Black and Green, be the colors of the Negro race.”
That means Black people, Colored People, Negro people, African people, at home and abroad, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have a flag that is over 102 years old.
The colors Red, Black, and Green have symbolic meaning for Black people. Red symbolizes the sacred tie of blood uniting Black people worldwide through our African ancestors. Black symbolizes Black people, at home in, Africa and abroad, in the diaspora. Green symbolizes the verdant material wealth of Africa. Plants are just one form of wealth in Africa. There are also natural resources such as gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium, and oil, among others.
Melanin puts the “B” in RBG
Melanin puts the “B” in RBG and the Black in Red, Black and Green. At present “MELANIN IS WORTH OVER $484 A GRAM MORE THAN GOLD!!!” Melanin is more valuable than gold, because it is more important than gold. We think it is important for everyone to know the chemical melanin gives black people their skin tone and is valuable. We see this as an opportunity to disrupt the superstitious ideas which come under the heading of racism or so-called “white” so-called “supremacy” which we refer to as the Melanin Challenged Inferiority Complex. Ten percent of earth’s population knowing melanin is worth more than gold will put this planet at the Melanin Tipping Point. From there, the idea melanin is worth more than gold rapidly becomes widely known. When everyone knows melanin is worth more than gold, that will be a gateway to restore justice to this planet.
A value for value relationship exists because you are reading this post and have learned the value of melanin. Buying a melanin value t-shirt keeps that relationship alive. Wearing your melanin value t-shirt creates a value for value relationship with those who see it. Consider the possibility that learning about melanin and its value elevates awareness, leading to a shift in perception.
We have been celebrating the Red, Black and Green on August 13th of every year for over 20 years. The RBG Challenge is a part of the celebration. When Black people wear Red, Black and Green, it sends a message of hope, makes a statement of global unity and shows mental emancipation. If the Empire State building can wear Red, Black and Green one day a year, every person on earth can wear red, black, and green at least one day a year. That day is August 13th.
Connecting RBG to MLK
How does all that connect to Dr. King?
To answer that question, we have to go back to June 20, 1965. That was when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. went to Jamaica with his wife Coretta Scott King. Rev. and Mrs. Ralph Abernathy accompanied them on the trip, besides the Rev. Bernard Lee, Dr. King’s private secretary and Mrs. Lee.
That day in Kingston, Jamaica Dr. King gave the valedictory address at the University of the West Indies. His speech was entitled ‘Facing the Challenge of a New Age.’
During his remarks, Dr. King stated, “In Jamaica, I feel like a human being.” He also said, “I am a Jamaican,” which echoed the sentiments of U.S. President John F. Kennedy when he said, “Ich Bin ein Berliner” which translates to “I am a Berliner,” during a speech he made in Berlin Germany a few years prior.
While in Jamaica, Dr. King also visited the Mausoleum of Marcus Garvey. Garvey’s widow, Amy Jacques Garvey accompanied him to what is now known as National Heroes Park. While there, Dr. King laid a wreath at Garvey’s shrine.
In his remarks at the shrine, Dr. King called Garvey, “the first man of colour in the history of the United States to lead a mass movement. He was the first on a mass scale and level to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny and make the Negro feel he was somebody.”
Dr. King told those in attendance, “you gave Marcus Garvey to the United States of America and he gave to the millions of Negroes in the United States a sense of person hood, a sense of manhood, a sense of somebodiness.” He further stated, “As we stand here let us pledge ourselves to continue the struggle in the same spirit of somebodiness…in the conviction that all God’s children are significant…that God’s black children are just as significant as his white children. And we will not stop until we have freedom in all its dimensions.”
Emancipate Ourselves from Mental Slavery
In a speech before the SCLC on August 16, 1967 (one day before what would have been Garvey’s eightieth birthday) entitled “Where Do We Go From Here” Dr. King said:
Psychological freedom, a firm sense of self-esteem, is the most powerful weapon against the long night of physical slavery. No Lincolnian Emancipation Proclamation, no Johnsonian civil rights bill can totally bring this kind of freedom. The Negro will only be free when he reaches down to the inner depths of his own being and signs with the pen and ink of assertive manhood his own emancipation proclamation.Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where do we go from here?”
What he is describing here is no less than the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World. Black people declared themselves free when they reached down and signed the Declaration of Rights. Part of that declaration was to give themselves a flag on August 13, 1920. Waving the Red, Black and Green expresses a dimension of freedom that only we can give to ourselves.
“Psychological freedom” also references probably the most widely known quote by Marcus Garvey. For in the speech entitled “The Work that Has Been Done” given on October 31, 1937 in Sydney, Nova Scotia’s Menelik Hall, Garvey says:
We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign.Marcus Garvey, Menelik Hall, Sydney, Nova Scotia on October 31, 1937
Those words are so widely known because Bob Marley paraphrased them in his “Redemption Song.”