LGBTI in Africa on Martin Luther King Jr Birthday

Why this MLK Day feels like no other to me!

Posted by Melanie Nathan, January 21, 2014.

Screen shot 2014-01-20 at 11.34.06 AMI cannot help but wonder about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jnr. and what he would do about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, as well as the Jail the Gays Bill in Nigeria.

I imagine Dr. King in the context of today: a non segregated America, with an African American President, support for equality and a surge of global anti-gay sentiment that is torturing and killing Africans, with very little outcry from U.S. Civil rights organizations as well as affirming Christian and other religious groups, lest we forget the Evangelical groups which have participated in the anti-LGBTI sentiment.

I may be ‘dreaming,’ but in my heart I know MLK would have not only had something poignant to say, but that he would have used his experience and power to make a critical impact. Somehow I think Bayard Rustin and Dr. King may have organized a march for the true ‘Soul of Africa.’

Today, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) joined with the nation to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and released this statement:

As an organization that stands on the shoulders of King, NBJC strives to ensure that his message of hope and non-violence lives on by applying it in our efforts to eradicate racism and homophobia in our society.

America has made great strides toward becoming a more just and fair society. However, we still live in a world where far too many are marginalized and deprived of living their best lives. We continue to be bombarded with reports of hate violence, and far too many barriers still exist that adversely affect our ability as Black LGBT people to thrive. A key pillar of NBJC’s work is to move our nation to action in building King’s “beloved community” where we can live openly, honestly and safely in all aspects of life.

This work is not easy, but it is essential. We must not yield in the face of opposition or shameful circumstances that arise when we speak truth to those who stand in the way of justice.  King’s legacy challenges us to stand up for the things that are good and great about our nation–to be ready, always, to defend the foundation of freedom and justice for all.  We, as Black and LGBT people, must lift up each other to fight on for what we know is right.

Noting that we are inextricably linked through our common humanity and our fight for equality, King stated, “Eventually the civil rights movement will have contributed infinitely more to the nation than the eradication of racial injustice. It will have enlarged the concept of brotherhood to a vision of total interrelatedness.”

It is with this sentiment of universal love that NBJC calls on all people of good will to recommit themselves to the movement for equality and justice. We must remind ourselves, like King did, why we cannot wait, why the time to initiate dialogue and action will always be now. Our future as a peaceful and humane nation, free of violence and prejudice, depends upon it.

The National Black Justice Coalition

I wonder where is the NBJC on Gays in Africa?

The last Posts on NBJC websites and no mention of the persecution of LGBTI people in African countries-  since the passage of the 2 horrific Bills:

Screen shot 2014-01-20 at 11.33.58 AM

By Melanie Nathan

One thought on “LGBTI in Africa on Martin Luther King Jr Birthday

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