Monday, January 19, 2009

Dr. King

Tomorrow, the country inaugurates its forty-fourth President, Barack Obama. Today, we celebrate the birthday of a man who helped make tomorrow possible. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 80 years old last Thursday, January 15, 2009.

I have a "guest" poster today. My wife, Anne, grew up in segregated Tidewater Virginia and has a much deeper and more personal understanding than I. Her essay was first published in the January issue of our community magazine, Living @ Sun City Carolina Lakes.

Update on A “Dream”
by Anne Lauher

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

It has been over 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically taken away from us. Many felt it was way too soon because we knew that he had begun a great work and there was still much to do. So as the nation prepares to celebrate what would have been his 80th birthday this month, let us update his “Dream”.

Although he was the catalyst for so many of the events and activities associated with the early Civil Rights Movement, he is more often than not remembered for his “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Most folks only remember the “Dream” portion of that speech, but there was so much more to it than that. I recall that in that speech he said “…we cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.” I’m sure that he would be satisfied about our voting record now because in the last national election for which we have confirmed numbers, more than 14.8 million black folks voted.

In that speech he told those who were there to go back to the towns and cities from which they came “…knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.” And he would not believe how true those words are about to become.

But what about the “Dream”?

He said he had a dream that “…one day…the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” Now that happens everyday from Main Street to Wall Street.

He had a dream that “…little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” If he could only see my granddaughters’ classes at school with faces that are not only black and white, but all shades in between. It’s the same for their sleepovers, their birthday parties and their soccer or tennis or swim teams.

He had a dream that “…this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed that all men are created equal,” and where people “…will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Nowhere was that more demonstrated than in a speech on another August 28, but this time in 2008 when Senator Barack Obama, an African-American, delivered his acceptance speech as the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. And even more so on November 4, 2008, when Mr. Obama was elected President of the United States.

So you see, there have been many positive changes in the America that he knew. We have made strides that many thought we would never see in our lifetime, and yet there’s still more to do.

But rest easy, Dr. King. Your dream is being fulfilled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please tell your "guest" that she wrote a great piece and I look forward to more from her.
love margaret