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Joe Chuman: The Radical Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We Do Not Know

By February 20, 2022No Comments

Note: Due to technical difficulties, only the audio of Sunday’s platform is available. Listen above!

We celebrated Martin Luther King’s birthday last month and February is denoted as national Black History Month. In conjunction with spirit of season and with a renewed concern about racial issues, I want to take a fresh look at the commitments of Martin Luther King.

What most people know about King issues from his “I Have A Dream” Speech given at the march on Washington in August, 1963. Hence King is often depicted as a “dreamer.” Yet, my contention is that King was far more radical in his analysis of American society than the official story portrays. King held to a notion of structural racism rooted in capitalism and aligned with American militarism. It is not the King usually celebrated on official holidays, but it is necessary that we look at this aspect of his life if we are to grasp the scope of King’s work and the farther reaches of his thoughts.

About Leader Dr. Joe Chuman

Dr. Joe Chuman recently retired as the Leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, a community he served since 1974. Since 2008, he has been a Leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture. As an activist, Dr. Chuman has worked on behalf of human rights and civil liberties and in opposition to the death penalty, as well as on many other progressive causes. He founded the Northern New Jersey group of Amnesty International in 1974, and currently serves as president of the Bergen County Sanctuary for Asylum Seekers, founded by the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County. This coalition of religious and human rights organizations provides services for asylum seekers released from federal detention.

Partner Organization of the Month Collection: The Innocence Project

Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest.  Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day.  While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public.  Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.

To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit our Videos page and YouTube channel.

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