Tonight we mark an anniversary that every other local media outlet willfully overlooked . . .
Again, a local fact that's worth repeating . . .
"The 1968 Kansas City riot occurred in Kansas City, Missouri, in April 1968. Kansas City became one of 37 cities in the United States to be the subject of rioting after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The rioting in Kansas City did not erupt on April 4, like other cities of the United States affected directly by the assassination, but rather on April 9 after local events within the city."
A few insights from TOP ECHELON READERS . . .
- KCMO riots were politically calculated, targeted local government and challenged the status quo.
- Police & elected officials were unprepared for the grassroots level of resistance and desire for change.
- At the time, many doubted or denied the "cultural shift" that the riots awakened. Those people were, in fact, on the wrong side of history.
A bit of truth as we enter another Holy Week . . .
We're still in the wake of radical change that was sparked in the late 60s. In fact, more recent BLM riots/protest were really just an extension of these same political tactics.
Rather than reach for some grandiose political conclusion . . . Tonight, it's enough to simply remember this events of this date and their lasting impact on Kansas City and the nation.
In fairness, if we look back a bit local news did provide a bevy of coverage of this anniversary back in 2018 when the date hit the half century mark. Here's a trailer that's worth another quick look . . .
And all of this inspires our playlist tonight . . .
This prescient song was released in '68 by one of the greatest bands the world has ever known and it's a fitting start for tonight's musical selections . . .
This anthem was released a few months before the riots BUT was still in heavy rotation and remains a timeless classic . . .
A hippie song from 68 in response to the turmoil . . .
This tune didn't age well and it's mostly forgotten but at the time it was revolutionary that pop radio stations were willing to play it: "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud" is a funk song performed by James Brown, and written with his bandleader Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis in 1968.
Forgive the cringe-y finish but this song was actually the #1 Billboard song during the week that MLK was gunned down and serves as our closing melody for tonight . . .
As always, thanks for reading this week and have a safe and fun Saturday night.