What Would Martin Say? Ashley Jones on the Meaning of MLK in 2017


For Pastor Ashley Jones, her first memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. comes from her mother who was in the eleventh grade was he was killed in Memphis in 1968. In fact, Ashley was born in Kent County some twenty-five years after his murder, and yet a personal connection with him has been a critical part of her life and her ministry.

As she prepares for her role as keynote speaker at Kent County’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast in Rock Hall next Monday, Ashley spent some time with the Spy to talk about this special relationship with the late civil rights leader. She also talks candidly about race relations now, and most importantly, she begins to answer the critical question of the day; What would Martin Luther King say in the face of this extraordinarily challenging time for African-Americans in the year 2017.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length

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Letters to Editor

  1. Mark Dell"Acqua says:

    I find it interesting that many of the people who embrace MLK fail to embrace his words and non-violent ideology and then use his name to promote an agenda that doesn’t parallel his teachings. I believe the first words out of the mouth of MLK would be to President Barack Obama who was in a position like no one else in America to bring racial healing and end the divisiveness and after 8 years as President race relations are where they were during the 1960s.

    His anti-police rhetoric and his partisan comments on events like Ferguson and Baltimore before the facts were in, only to find the police were exonerated of all charges, led to the destruction od 2 cities where looting went unchecked by the elected officials of these cities. Speaking of elected officials in large urban cities where staggering numbers of black-on-black murders takes place daily, I can’t help but to think that MLK would have a few choice words for these folks who have been the political force in these cities for decades. Their failed liberal policies have not been successful by anyone’s standard and many times have kept their residents in bondage by offering a hope that is dependent on the very political system that has failed them. MLK never promoted being dependent on the
    government for anything but did promote personal accountability as the foundation to a better way of life.

    Without a doubt the greatest setback in America regarding race relations was the murder of Martin Luther King. His death created a racial vacuum that was never really filled and subsequently left a platform for some self-proclaimed black leaders and history has shown that they did not pick up where Dr. King left off. Conversely, prominent blacks in America like Dr. Ben Carson who overcame living in the projects and growing up without a father who was the first person to successfully separate siamese-twins joined at the head [ Former Chief Pediatric Neurosurgeon Johns Hopkins Hospital ] was never embraced by the mainstream black leaders and was often referred to as a “sellout” or an “Uncle Tom” and had nothing legitimate to offer black America in terms of hope and direction with his personal accountability narrative.

    Dr. Carson’s success shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone because the life principles that he lived are timeless and are not subject to the color of your skin, your ethnic background, or your sex. Many before him who found personal accountability, hard work & sacrifice, and a determination to not let others control their destiny as being indispensable to a productive way of life which was their ticket out of a their less than desirable living situation.

    I’m sure everyone has their own take on what would be Dr. Martin Luther King’s words if he could somehow return after almost 50 years of absence. I’m sure he would have much to say to those who claim to have picked up where he left off in 1968 because looking back to when he left and then looking forward at America today, many of the principles that he espoused and lived have been abandoned for an ideology of political correctness in all of it’s twisted delusional forms taking people back to the bondage that they thought they had escaped from almost 50 years ago. Those are the things that MLK would want to talk about, because he lived them and they work, when everything else is failing.

    Mark Dell”Acqua

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