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2/24/2015"Black Lives Matter" Aspires to Reclaim the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.1/7"Black Lives Matter" Aspires to Reclaim theLegacy of Martin Luther King Jr.But can it turn a moment into a bona fide national movement?By Gabrielle Canonand Bryan Schatz| Sun Jan. 18, 2015 11:01 AM ESTSocial Title:"Black Lives Matter" aspires to reclaim MLK Jr.'s legacyIt started slowly. A few people began banging spoons against the metal pillars. More joined in, hittingthem against benches. The people sitting down started too, slamming their spoons against the concretefloor. Soon, the deafening clamor of hundreds of synchronized spoons was sounding across theMontgomery BART station in downtown San Francisco. They were tapping a message: The movement isstill alive.Sixty years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech about the Montgomery bus boycott—the speech thathelped set off the Civil Rights Movement—hundreds of activists gathered at the station early Fridaymorning to protest in his spirit. It was the first of many demonstrations scheduled around the country thisweekend—an attempt to "reclaim King's Legacy." People filled the light-rail platforms, shutting downtwo stations that service the city's downtown financial district. "BART FRIDAY: NO BUSINESS ASUSUAL" proclaimed the all caps header on the event's Facebook page.The protesters' demands were specific, but their point was broader. "Part of what we are trying to doover the next 96 hours is remind people that Martin Luther King believed in direct action. He was not thepacified image they teach in classrooms," said one organizer, barely audible over the spoons.Clayborne Carson, a historian and director of the Martin Luther King Jr., Research & EducationInstitute at Stanford University, concurs. "One puts King back into the past and it is more of a comfortingnotion of King," he says. "One of the messages you get at a King holiday celebration is, 'We had thisproblem called racism once, and he helped us solve it.' There is this comforting notion that King was partof a past that America has moved beyond and we can all pat ourselves on the back."Though Carson emphasizes that discussing and celebrating King's legacy is an important and positive
2/24/2015"Black Lives Matter" Aspires to Reclaim the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.2/7"King's last bookwas, 'Where DoWe Go FromHere?' Hewouldn't be askingif we had alreadyarrived."aspect of the holiday, it doesn't give the full picture. "There are those who are going to say the meaning ofhis life is that he helped America pass Civil Rights Legislation. We should be looking beyond that." Evenduring his life, Carson explains, King was not satisfied with legislation as an end result. He hoped civilrights would be a catalyst for the realization of international human rights and justice. "King's last bookwas, Where Do We Go From Here