We live in an age where centuries-old racial wounds of the black community are visible, and every day we witness the anguish and suffering of vulnerable communities. George Floyd and Eric Garner are giving voice to entire communities of color who are crying out:
"We cannot breathe."
From Emmett Till to Breonna Taylor, the lynching of black women and men is the horrific evidence of the violence of white supremacy.
The moral and political outcry of the Black Lives Matter movement has stirred the soul of the nation.
The challenges that Dr. King and Malcolm X made plain are still with us:
racism, poverty, police brutality, and militarism.
What do the radical legacies of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X (and John Lewis, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Muhammad Ali, and others) teach us today about Black Liberation?
Join us on this online video-based course to find out.
20% of the proceeds of this course will go to support
the Poor People's Campaign and other Black Lives Matter Movements.
Martin & Malcolm.
Malcolm & Martin.
Martin and Malcolm are the two most inspiring and influential activists of the 1960s who made racial justice the core of their teachings. Even though they were active more than fifty years ago, their message reaches out and continues to inspire all of us who care about dignity of all human lives, starting with those who find themselves vulnerable.
Join us for a close study of their teachings, including almost never seen footage of their lives, to draw strength and inspiration for your own work for justice and building a beautiful community today.
“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
Martin Luther King
Do you find yourself disappointed about how we are as a nation and as a world community?
Do you want to bring Love out into the public and see it realized as justice?
You are not alone. We are not alone. We bear the wisdom of our ancestors, and bring to today's wounds the healing insight of yesteryears' prophetic insights.
The challenges of today are not new, and were faced head on by giants before us. Let us learn from the wisdom of Martin and the courage of Malcolm, from Ella's fierceness and Fannie Lou's truth telling, to keep building the world in which we want to live.
Let us see how this love pours out as justice, and moves inward as tenderness.
Explore their real, authentic teachings
The legacies of both Martin and Malcolm have been whitewashed, and stripped of their radical critiques because they posed such a threat to the injustice that is woven into the structures around us. In this course, we are going to the heart of their teachings by going far beyond the conventional flat presentations of each of these iconic figures.
Come and dive with us into the real, authentic teachings of Martin and Malcolm, and those of the other women and men who together build a movement. And be a part of building an informed movement of conscience today, Here & Now.
“If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there's no progress. If you pull it all the way out that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven't even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound.”
Why study Martin & Malcolm with me?
The legacies of Martin and Malcolm are very dear to my own heart. I have been asked to preach at Dr. King's church (Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta) as part of the national MLK celebration in January 2017. I had the distinct honor of speaking as part of the 50th anniversary commemoration for Dr. King at the spot of his assassination, Lorraine Motel (now the National Civil Rights Museum) in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4th, 2018. And in 2019, I was invited back to deliver the keynote speech on "What Does Martin Have to Say to America Now?" on that same April 4th anniversary. And again in 2020 I was asked to speak on MLK's relevance to today's world there.
I am also deeply committed to the legacy of Brother Malcolm, whose presence and writing has transformed my own life. In 2015, I worked to convene a gathering to bring together people working on the legacy of Malcolm X on the 50th anniversary of Brother Malcolm.
Join us, and we will engage their legacies not as fossilized icons of the past, but as prophetic radical voices of love and justice that continue to speak to us today, particularly in this age of Black Lives Matter.Learn more about your Teacher
Content & Format of the Course
You do not need to be previously familiar with Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, or the history of civil rights. You also do not need to have any additional books purchased. We will provide you with all the necessary materials. Bring your whole self, all of your experiences, all of your wisdom and insight, and all of your open heart.
Here are some of the content material for the course. As is always the case with Illuminated Courses, you can watch the videos at your own time and pace:
- We will study how the history of racism and colonialism goes back to even before there was a United States of America.
- We will study the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott movement, to see unknown 26 year old freshly ordained Dr. King pushed into leadership position.
- We will study Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail, to learn about Martin's critique of "white moderates"
- We will study the 1963 March on Washington ("March for Jobs and Freedom"), and examine the pressures put on John Lewis to tone down his powerful (and radical) critique
- We will study the March on Selma, to see how the movement called now for bold demonstration, and now for negotiation.
- We will study Dr. King's most controversial speech, the Riverside speech in which King connected anti-black racism to America's militarism in Vietnam. Watch the almost never seen footage of this speech.
- We will see King's last project to form a Poor People’s Campaign, and powerful critique of capitalism. .
- We will turn to Brother Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik al-Shabbaz), and study the impact he has had on Muhammad Ali, Hip-Hop, American Islam, and Black Lives Matter activists today.
You will have 180 days of access to gently work your way through these lessons at your own pace, and if you like, to come back and revisit those earlier lessons within that time.
Let us begin this journey together, with the first of these lessons. The vast majority of the lessons for this course are Omid's lectures on Dr. King, Malcolm X, and Rabbi Heschel, and we will also have access to a few helpful documentaries as part of the course.
Monthly virtual Chai with Omid
About once a month, we hold a live online session through Zoom with all the members of our Illuminated Courses Community to have Chai (tea) together. This is an optional chance for anyone who is interested in asking Omid questions in a relaxed setting and being connected with like-minded seekers. The main topic is usually focussed around the most recent course, but all our members are welcome with all their questions. We would love to have you join us!
Go through the course at your own pace.
Registration for "Martin & Malcolm on Black Liberation"
Choose what you pay:
Sign up & share the Love
Gift this course to yourself and to other friends in this community of seekers. This pay-it-forward option makes it possible for us to offer scholarship rates to those who are struggling financially during this time.
20% of your payment will go towards the Poor People's Campaign, or a Black Lives Matter movement.
We are honored to have you with us. This is the standard package whereby you receive full access to all the components of the course. Welcome to the community of Illuminated Courses!
20% of your payment will go towards the Poor People's Campaign, or a a Black Lives Matter movement.$99 one time payment
All members of our community are cherished & essential. This reduced rate is intended to make it easier for everyone to benefit from these courses. It is important to us and our community that you may receive these heart nourishing teachings to support you. This discounted price allows us to continue offering these courses on this platform and serving our community.$49 one time payment