Seven Stories for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Posted by Julia Wick


Photo: Center for Jewish History

Below are seven stories about (or by) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., exploring different facets of his life and legacy.

“Alex Haley Interviews Martin Luther King, Jr.” (Alex Haley, Playboy Magazine, January 1965)

King sat down for a series of interviews with the author Alex Haley shortly after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. They were edited and compiled into one interview that ran in the magazine the next year, which—according to The Daily Beast—was the longest interview King ever gave any publication.

“Obituary: Martin Luther King Jr., Leader of Millions in Nonviolent Drive for Racial Justice” (Murray Schumach,The New York Times, April 1968)

King’s obituary, which ran in the New York Times the day after his death, acts as a fascinating primary source document from the era, particularly in its discussion of divisions within the civil rights movement, which are often left out of the holiday narrative. Note: As is the case with many older documents, there is wording that some may find objectionable, particularly the Times’ use of the word “negro.” The Columbia Journalism Review recently published a study of how the NYT’s use of racial labels has shifted over the past century and a half, which provides interesting perspective and can be found here.

“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (Martin Luther King, Jr., April 1963)

King’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is one of the seminal documents of the Civil Rights movement. The letter was originally composed in the margins of a newspaper (the only paper King had at the time) and was published in June 1963 in Liberation, The Christian Century and The New Leader. The next month it was reprinted in The Atlantic as “The Negro Is Your Brother.”

“How Gil Scott-Heron and Stevie Wonder Set Up Martin Luther King Day” (Gil Scott-Heron, The Guardian, January 2012)

An intensely vivid verbal snapshot of Stevie Wonder’s 1981 rally for a national King holiday, which took place at the Washington D.C. monument grounds during Wonder’s “Hotter Than July” tour. The legendary Scott-Heron narrates from the stage, looking out at “50,000 people standing shoulder-to-shoulder across the expanse of the Mall, chanting: ‘Martin Luther King Day, we took a holiday!’”

“Martin Luther King Jr., the Advice Columnist” (Anna Holmes, Washington Post, August 2011)

From September 1957 to December 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. penned a monthly advice column for Ebony magazine that addressed a wide array of subjects, from race relations to interpersonal relationships. Anna Holmes discusses his column in this piece. More of the columns can be found here.

“The Children of Dr. King: Living with the Legacy” (Frank Washington, Atlanta Magazine, January 1985)

Much discussion today (and throughout the year, in classrooms the world over) is made of King’s legacy. This piece addresses a very specific aspect of that legacy: his four children, who lost their father at ages 12, 10, 7 and 5. This 1985 profile looks at their lives as young adults, working “to incorporate their father’s social and spiritual legacy into their own lives.

“Melvin White wants to fix the nation’s Martin Luther King Drives. But can he even fix ours?” (Danny Wicentowski,Riverfront Times, May 2014)

This one isn’t actually about King, not by a long shot. What it does offer is another unique view of his legacy, in this case as seen through the construction (and subsequent decline) of Martin Luther King, Jr. streets and boulevards across America.


the love story project on the dangers–and pleasures–of love stories

On anniversaries

“Are you disappointed?” he said, as we heaped pineapple fried rice onto our plates. “Do you feel like this is not special enough?”

My partner and I celebrated our first relationship anniversary last weekend. I’d never celebrated an anniversary before, and, while it did not feel particularly special to be sitting at my kitchen table in yoga pants eating Thai food, I wasn’t sure that I really cared about specialness. “What’s really the point of an anniversary anyway?” I asked through a mouthful of pad see ew, “To say we managed not to break up this year?”

“No. It’s like: ‘Hey, you’re special to me. Let’s celebrate this thing we created,’” he said.

It’s not that I needed him to defend the idea of an anniversary to me (though I appreciated his willingness to do so), it’s that sometimes I feel it’s my job to maintain skepticism when it comes to the rituals we associate with romance. We all seem to have a lot of ideas about what you’re supposed to say or do in love and these ideas have the power to make us feel either smug or inadequate–or, absurdly, both at once. And I just wanted to tread thoughtfully toward the anniversary celebration.

“I think I should write something about anniversaries,” I said. “People don’t really talk about how weird they are.”

“Are you gonna write about this?” my partner asked, glancing around at the takeout containers propped between haphazard stacks of books.

“Of course.”

“Ugh.” He slumped. “I knew I should’ve tried harder.”

It took me a while to pinpoint why anniversaries feel weird to me: I think it’s the implication that the real value of a relationship is in its duration. Don’t get me wrong, I am genuinely impressed by people who manage to stay committed for decades. And I love almost any excuse for a celebration (as evidenced by the fact that I just typed the phrase “pick up dog cake” into my calendar–Roscoe and I have spent a full six years together!). But duration is rarely the best indicator of a relationship’s success. Certainly most of us can cite long, miserable marriages.

I spent the entirety of my last serious relationship advocating for special occasions: birthdays, holidays, Valentine’s Day. Why couldn’t we make a big deal out of things just once? And now, somehow, I have become the one who says, “Why can’t you eat take out in spandex on an anniversary?” Obviously you can and we did, but it felt problematically mundane. So we shook off our Halloween hangovers, changed clothes and went out for cocktails and dessert.

It was a nice night. Still, I never quite escaped the feeling that there was something romantic that I should be doing or saying. Over chocolate mousse I fretted that there was an appropriately sentimental note that the evening hadn’t quite hit. It’s probably this exact feeling that all those people who are “just not really into” anniversaries are trying to avoid.

Maybe I should’ve said something to him about how grateful I am for his unfailing kindness. I know I’ve already said something along these lines to a bazillion strangers on the internet (in both type and video, no less) but maybe I should’ve told him. It’s so nice to know (not to hope or to believe–to know) that even when we disagree–even when we almost break up–he is kind. But there is more to it than a nice feeling. Love is an inherently risky proposition. Writing about love is often uncomfortable. Knowing my partner will be kind, that he is in fact kind to his core, is part of what makes this risk feel manageable to me. All of this is what I should’ve said.

Instead, we found ourselves in a discussion of the role of happiness in a relationship: Is it your job to make your partner happy?

Me: No.

Him: But your happiness is important to me.

Me: I think our relationship is going well right now because I’m not trying to make you happy–because I’ve actually made a conscious effort to stop trying to please you.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately–about wanting to please people. It’s a habit I’m trying to temper.

I think it took me an entire year to find ease in this relationship. Partly this is due to the fact that this has been a strange year for me–nothing has felt quite normal or predictable. And partly it’s due to the fact that love never feels normal or predictable to me. It seems to involve a lot of pleasing.

I thought a sense of ease would be the natural by-product of our month-long August road trip. I thought you couldn’t possibly spend thirty days sharing a car and a tent without feeling entirely comfortable by the end of it. But that wasn’t true. I still had this lingering self-consciousness about the relationship. I sometimes looked in the campground bathroom mirror and wondered, ‘Does he think I look less pretty without mascara?’

There was so much to manage: the constant putting up and taking down of the tent, mapping and remapping the route, and the emotional and physical risks of giving a talk and going rock climbing, all of which made it impossible to step out of the immediacy of each day. I was stuck in the moment in a way that did not match the romantic idea one has of road trips. I felt intensely vulnerable–all while posting gorgeous photos of various national parks on Instagram, of course.

Ligando A New-Old-Stock PS / 2 Model 30

Eu sou um grande fã de assistir trabalho do material do velho outra vez e vídeo leva o bolo IBM proverbial. O PS / 2 Model 30 saiu no início de 1990 e foi uma das primeiras máquinas com uma CPU Intel 286, um monstro de 10Mhz que poderia correr Sierra jogos como um campeão. E aqui está brotando para a vida como se Toad The Wet Sprocket ainda era grande.

O importante é que esta é uma unidade nova-velha-estoque que significa que nunca foi aberto. O cara que descobriu, Rick Chan, postou uma galeria cheia de sua unboxing e disse que estava procurando por peças usadas de vintage, quando ele encontrou um armazém em Nova York cheia de máquinas antigas.

“A empresa estava sentado em uma grande pilha de inventário novo-velho estoque não vendido que tem sido sentado em um armazém e decidi ver se o material iria vender no eBay”, disse ele. “Eles tinham / 2 da IBM PS, 1 de NEC Pentium, Responder 486s, teclados IBM, mouses e monitores.”

“Foi um golpe de sorte como eu estava no mercado para um PC usado vindima e que passou a ter algumas partes que eu precisava, então eu contactado-los via eBay e, em seguida, eles se ofereceram para me vender novo engrenagem frescos dos anos 90”.

Vendo esse tipo de coisa arranque sem problemas é uma prova de como tanque-como estas máquinas realmente eram. Você consegue imaginar um laptop moderno sobreviver vinte anos, mais e muito menos iniciando-se com a simples aplicação de poder? Isto é alguma coisa legal.

Atlas, The Humanoid Robot, Could Become Your Android Butler

Here’s to good old Atlas, the walking humanoid robot. He walks, he runs, he carries heavy loads and now – as part of a calibration program – he can do chores around the house.

This video shows the team at IHMC Robotics running calibration tests on Atlas. These tests let the operators understand how he moves in the world and what they need to do to tweak his motions. For example, by clicking on a bottle in a UI representation of the environment they can make Atlas reach out and grab the bottle in the most efficient way. Further, by showing him various tasks and seeing how his body reacts they can prepare more complex tasks in the future.

“It takes a lot of patience and out-of-the-box thinking to be a robot operator. When you approach a task or situation you’ve never seen before, you need to think of as many different ways of completing that task as you can and figure out what approach would be best for the robot. Many of the tasks ATLAS performs are done a lot differently than a human would do the same task,” said robot operator John Carff to Spectrum.

Sadly Atlas will probably never end up doing this work in your home – he’s too expensive – but robots like him could start sweeping, dusting, and otherwise coddle their fleshy masters. Then, one day, when we least expect it: boom, our brains are an organic battery for a spiderbot. It will be an interesting way to go while Atlas chortles to himself about all the broom-pushing we made him do.

Wahanda Rebrands To Treatwell, Eyes Up U.S. Entry

Wahanda, the European hair and beauty marketplace that Japan’s Recruit Holdings majorityacquired last year for $117 million (at a $240 million pre-money valuation), is getting a makeover of its own. Today the company has rebranded to Treatwell. The name comes from a past acquisition made in June 2015 to expand its services in Holland, Germany and Belgium.

The name change and brand refresh — led by the same team that worked on Airbnb’s last overhaul — comes as the company continues to eye up how best to expand to the U.S.. There, companies like StyleSeat and Groupon offer platforms for consumers to connect with local salons for haircuts and other beauty treatments; but the majority of IT solutions focused on the hair and beauty market are to sell cloud-based software to salons without the marketplace component, according to Treatwell CEO and founder Lopo Champalimaud.

“I would love to do more in the U.S. We’re looking at it have had conversations to understand how we might enter,” said Champalimaud in an interview. There are a lot of software players in the U.S., with a glut of businesses making for a fragmented market. “It would make sense for us to go in by acquisition,” he added.

Treatwell, née Wahanda, was first founded back in 2008 and has so far focused on Europe, building itself up as one of the bigger marketplaces in the category. Salons join it to gain access to its reservation management and loyalty software, and also appear on its platform as a secondary discovery route to pick up new customers who aren’t already regulars. Consumers use it as a quick way of looking for deals on specific treatments, or to find availability for a service based on time and location.

The company claims to be the biggest of its kind in Europe, with 500 employees, 20,000 bookable venues and 10 million users with $108 million in sales projected for this year.Champalimaud also claims that Treatwell’s valuation is “substantially” higher now than it was when Recruit took its majority stake.

And as part of the larger Recruit operation that owns Hot Pepper Beauty in Japan, Treatwell is one of the bigger platforms globally. Other players in Europe include Miora and Rocket Internet’s Vaniday.

The rebrand is to help the business provide a united front as it expands globally. Up to now, the company has grown both organically and by acquisition, and to keep brand recognition in each local market, it has held on to the brands it has acquired, which have also includedSalonium, Salonmeister and Zensoon over the years.

But Champalimaud says that this started to become too inefficient to handle five different brands, and even if Treatwell is in English, the Wahanda umbrella brand, using a word that doesn’t mean anything specific in any language covered by the business, didn’t work either. “Wahanda may have built a pretty substantial brand presence in the UK, but it was a totally different situation in other places,” Champalimaud said. “In Italy the word is hard to pronounce, and nowhere does Wahanda actually say what it means.”

Treatwell enlisted the help of DesignStudio, the same London-based agency that worked with Airbnb on its redesign, to work on the rebrand.