What’s In Your Hand – Advice from Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

I just finished up a week at the Schomburg’s Summer Education Institute, where educators convene every July to learn about content and strategies to teach Black History in the classroom. Though I’m no longer a classroom teacher, I still find the content engaging, not to mention inspiring.

One of the great aspects of the Education Institute is that there is always a walking tour of Harlem. This is the first time I participated, and man was I impressed! We discussed Marcus Garvey, The Cotton Club, The Savoy, and the politician Adam Clayton Powell Jr. It’s a shame that Powell is not much discussed much in history, especially in a place like Harlem were he was so influential.

I’m sure you heard of Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, but have you heard of Powell’s ‘What’s In Your Hand?’ In the wake of the Zimmerman trial it’s easy to feel paralyzed as to what you can do to help and effect change. Powell reminds us that all we have to do is use the resources in our hand.

Powell asks no matter how much money or power you have, what’s in your hand? I answer, I have a pen in my hand… or more like an iPad.

Watch ‘What’s in Your Hand?’ below.


Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

Portrait of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. courtesy of www.safran.-arts.com


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4 Responses to “What’s In Your Hand – Advice from Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.”

  1. AbbanBudu says:

    Thanks for sharing this Rox, It’s just inspiring. I keep asking myself, and maybe I’ll mention you when I figure it out :) . I actually downloaded this vid. Thanks a lot.

    • Roxanne L. Scott says:

      Thanks Terry. Everyone has something in their hands. For you, maybe it’s a book, some cedis, or the laptop you use to create the awesome initiative BlogFridayGH! :-)

  2. Was not Adam Clayton Powell the original “I have a dream” speechmaker. I could swear I heard him use those identical words in a sentence or two before Martin Luther King’s speech. That was back in the heyday of Reverend Ike. Please help me out here.

    • Roxanne L. Scott says:

      Hey… great question. Well, maybe you’re aware that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr plagiarized his dissertation at Boston University. I learned this in Ghana of all places, lol. I’m not aware of the “I Have a Dream” speech being taken from Powell, but I did read that it was taken by Archibald Carey from the 50′s. See more here: http://www.snopes.com/history/american/mlking.asp

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