I pray that you all are having a great day so far! As many of you know, today is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in America. I wanted to share a reflection on his dream, and what his dream can look like in our present and future.
The other day I saw a clip of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. There were thousands of people from all races, ages, and backgrounds, in attendance at this event. They were there to hear a man preach unity, love, and equal justice. He spoke in both grace and truth, hopeful of the future for the next generations.
Today, I work 10 minutes from the Lincoln Memorial. I have walked around the memorial and reflecting pool many times during my lunch breaks; the same place where he gave the charge for America to do better. Not coincidentally, he gave that speech, where the movers and shakers of government (i.e. Congress), could listen and affect positive change for African Americans.
More than ever, my eyes have been opened to the slow (and at times, backwards) progress of equality for African Americans. I attended and graduated from a top PWI (predominately white institution), am friends with white people who treat me with respect, and have been afforded opportunities previous generations never experienced. I am grateful for the progress that has been made.
However, the experience of African Americans has not been exactly rainbows and sunshine. Just over the past decade, we have witnessed the modern day lynchings of African Americans; where men and women have been tried, convicted, and executed in the streets. We have witnessed peaceful protests for equal justice met with the violent force of police officers. I have no issue with police officers, but I do have an issue when police departments are filled with corruption and discrimination. I don’t have an issue when they serve and protect, but I do have an issue when they are selective in whom they serve and protect. When will America’s eyes be opened to the inequality of life, health, education, housing, opportunity, justice (and much more) that African Americans face everyday?
I believe one of the greatest misconceptions America has of African Americans, is that we want to be the “superior race.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. We want America to follow through with the promise that all men are created equal. We want to live in decent housing and not have to worry about consuming contaminated water (#FlintWaterCrisis). We want to be surrounded by groceries stores and not fast food restaurants, which can cause obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions (#FoodDeserts). We want our children to learn and grow in public schools without: metal detectors and police, violence, dilapidated school buildings, underpaid teachers, and limited resources and staff (ex: nurses and counselors) – just like their white counterparts. And we don’t want to be discriminated in the workplace because of our name, our hairstyle, the schools we attended, nor the way we dress.
Enough is enough! We place our hope in God, who is Sovereign and in control of everything, and we will continue to fight the good fight (non-violently, of course). We will stand on the sacrifices that our brothers and sisters made before us. And we will continue the movement, even if we don’t experience the fruits of our labor. It’s time to speak up, stand up, and stand together for the equality of all.
With that reflection, I hope that you’ll listen to his speech below. Thank you for reading this post! Please like, share, comment, and subscribe for future posts.