We look at the legacy of Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells and Ella Baker, Malcolm X and Martin King. We have, and part of the struggle now in the age of [Barack] Obama is how do we keep alive the legacy of Martin King?
I do believe that healing takes place on a number of different levels and that in fact black healing can be deepened by trying to heal across as well as within. But it could be that to call for black and Jewish healing without acknowledging the need for intra-black healing puts the cart before the horse.
When you say that [Martin Luther] King was a prophet, you don't say that he predicted anything; you say that he bore witness. He left a committed life so that people would never forget the suffering of people that he was connected to. King was prophetic because he lived a committed life. Now he did critique society, saying you're going to go under if you don't treat your poor right. I mean, that is part of prophetic calling, but it's not predicting anything.
It's a spiritual malnutrition tied to a moral constipation, where people have a sense of what's right and what's good. It's just stuck, and they can't get it out because there's too much greed. There's too much obsession with reputation and addiction to narrow conceptions of success.
He[Michael Jackson] had a joy in being alive. There was a joy you felt of him on the stage and making us not just feel good but pushing us against ourselves with the "Man in the Mirror," looking at ourselves critically, "Black or White," what does it mean to get caught in a color as opposed to a rich history and culture?