by Fl. Khary Atif

There is something about pain that gives a deep appreciation for life. In other words, it fosters a desire to live. The elders of our time said, "lift every voice and sing." We are cautioned in the anthem to remember the lessons that the "dark past" had taught us.  It is in that spirit (of service) that the members of Groove Phi Groove and Swing Phi Swing gathered at Finley Recreation Center on January 18, 2016, for the Martin Luther King Day of Service. Groove and Swing are products rooted in historical awareness, self-consciousness, and an evolution of community and social activism born in the 1960s, which shaped community inclusiveness.

Historically, Finley Recreation Center is the product of a community collaborative effort. It was conceived with a collective spirit, which it still embodies and is maintained by the community it serves. As that community has renewed itself over the generations, those who once played there have grown older and now lovingly watch over and maintain its character and principles like elders of a village.  Yes, the brothers and sisters worked that day, engaged in fellowship and honored Dr. King via service.  The service was a fitting tribute for a National Treasure and drum major for peace. Literally speaking, the drum major of any marching band reflects the ensemble's discipline, struggle, sacrifice, and commitment. In that vein peace, stability, structure, safety, and communal spirit are key components necessary for directing a band and developing a positive life. Bottom line? Peace requires enduring effort and service.

Those who are noble are not so by birth, by color, by education or by class position. They are noble by virtue of the acceptance of the obligation. In this case the obligation to serve others. Our work is not done because we came out on this particular day, took some pictures or found ourselves on the evening news.  

Just as the elders endured the dark past, so must we learn the lessons they have conveyed and fight for a better future for the next generation to enter its cherished doors. Our fellowship then becomes a look in the mirror. It is how we discover the meaning needed to stay in the fight. Dr. King said that longevity had its place but it really didn't matter to him for he had surmounted the temporal and saw that which was promised. He was free at last and that's a sober truth; let the warriors for peace be carried on that "Sword of Courage and Shield of Faith."

  • The Dilemma and the Challenge14:10
  • Excerpt From Speech The Day Before His Death0:49
  • We Must Love Each Other12:22
  • I Have A Dream4:55
  • We Shall Overcome3:42
  • The Better6:38
  • All Here and Now3:39
  • Dr. King's Entrance Into Civil Rights Movement9:27
  • The Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Indianapolis, IN, 4/4/68)5:22
  • A Preacher Leading His Flock3:37
  • Must Establish Priorities0:35
  • Commitment To Non-Violence0:48
  • Address To American Jewish Committee16:41
  • Police Brutality Will Backfire0:56
  • Faith In America0:14
  • Prophetic Last speech - 19683:14
  • Alabama2:25
  • Lift Every Voice and Sing7:03
  • Dreamsville3:48
  • Deep In A Dream6:46
  • At The End Of The Day (Grace)7:42
  • Alone Together7:34
  • Let 'Em In5:01

"Everybody can be great . . . because anybody can serve.  You don't have to have a college degree to serve.  You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love."        ~ Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King  

Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc.  ~  Building a Better Tomorrow  ~  One Young Man at a Time