Chaos or Community?
In his 1967 book Where Do We Go From Here? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr wrote these prophetic words: “A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos or community.” More than five decades later the chaos is all too apparent: When we look around we are faced with a raging pandemic with its mounting death toll, acute economic distress, a climate in peril and the fury of the January 6th insurrection and all that was behind it. We are at a proverbial crossroads. Collective action can address these problems. We can choose. What will it be? Chaos or community?
Michael Eric Dyson, a globally renowned scholar of race, religion and contemporary culture, is the Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. A dynamic speaker, he lectures widely. Among his many books are April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King’s Death and How it Changed America, Tears We Cannot Stop, Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur, and Jay-Z: Made in America.