As Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s federal holiday is set to take place on Monday, January 20, a number of MLK holiday parties will be taking place over the weekend prior to the observed day.
With this holiday, there have been a number of holiday parties causing an uproar with many activists and others due to Martin Luther King, Jr’s image being used on promotional flyers to promote racy events such as twerk parties.
Retired Judge D’Army Bailey, who is also founder of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN, spoke on the flyers being promoted all over the country ranging from Atlanta to Pensacola which are using the likeness of Martin Luther King Jr to promote holiday parties and twerk parties.
In a Fox interview on Good Morning Memphis with Darrell Greene, Judge Bailey stated Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter, Bernice King, says we (activists, adults and the older generation) need to get out more and bridge that gap. Bailey stated that Bernice King was quite compassionate in her response and says we need to reach out more to the youth communicating with the flyers.
“We have to bridge this gap of open communication. These young people have… obviously it’s poor taste. We should not condemn them but open up the line of communication,” says Judge Bailey.
During his talk, at some point, Judge Bailey added that seeing King in a modern way was actually “interesting.”
“In some ways it was kind of interesting to see a young Dr King in context of… we always see him with his tie and his hat on looking all somber, yet we forget this [was] a young man.” Bailey adds that in some ways, “it’s good that young people want to embrace a youthful image of a leader and we shouldn’t freeze King as a preacher who was just killed in Memphis.”
Evidently this isn’t the first time Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s image has been used to promote parties. Just a quick (Google, Bing, Yahoo) search will bring up photos over the years showing King sporting gold chains next to hot models and more.