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Barack Obama meets crew of Apollo 11 mission - how times have changed

(4 Posts)
spokette Tue 21-Jul-09 08:31:30

As I was reading this article, I wondered what Martin Luther King would have made of this moment.

MLK was assassinated in 1968 so did not witness the moon landings. In 1969, there were civil rights marches calling for an improvement in the treatment of black people in terms of equality in housing, jobs, health and education, the Blank Panther movement was on the rise calling for police brutality against the black community to end, black people were largely invisible on TV or film unless they played a bit part as a maid or criminal but people like Gene Roddenberry were bold enough to cast black characters like Lt Uhuru in Star Trek much to the chagrin of many TV executives.

In general, the USA was not a safe or welcoming place for people of colour. The chances of a black person being chosen to be an astronaut in 1969 was as likely as J. Edgar Hoover embracing Malcolm X as his best friend.

In 1969, Obama (as an adult male) would have been referred to as Boy. In 2009, he is called Sir and he is the President of the USA.

How times have changed and may they continue to do so.

mayorquimby Tue 21-Jul-09 10:33:29

in fairness i'd be worried if any president embraced a racist like malcom x as a friend whatever colour they were.
i certainly wouldn't expect obamma to embrace a white man preaching race seperation and describing black people as the devil.

spokette Tue 21-Jul-09 13:19:27

Malcolm X changed that stance after he went to Mecca and saw muslims from all races. His message after that became one of moderation and tolerance and for that, he was assassinated.

Also, Malcolm X's father was murdered by racists and he grew up in a time when blacks were treated worst than dogs so not surprised by his views considering the way that black people were treated.

KingRolo Tue 21-Jul-09 13:26:46

Whenever I see Obama's two little girls at The White House or state functions I always think of Luther King's speech about his hopes for his children and how much has changed in such a short space of time.

I'm only in my early 30s but I didn't think I'd live to see a black president.

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