The Big Girl Chronicles: Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Few among us today possess the courage of this one man. He is a man that moved to the forefront of a race of people who were tired of the ill treatment that had become common among them and declared that we would no longer submit to the oppression and degradation of the dominant society. But observe how he did this. During a time when black people were commonly thought to be UNcivilized, he organized peaceful protests and demonstrations. Where it was believed that black people were UNeducated he challenged laws of ignorance that only sought to preserve a “separate but equal” society. He didn’t just talk about it. He himself marched, was arrested and stood alongside his peers in the face of public humiliation and demoralization.
Despite the racial turmoil and social unrest of that time, Martin Luther King, Jr. continued to give speeches encouraging efforts to remain nonviolent and true to the cause. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to encourage others when he and his family were being threatened and harassed. However, his famous I Have A Dream speech spoke to thousands about the passion of his efforts to transform an unjust society into one that will fairly judge his children and peers based upon their character, meet their potential and ultimately hold America accountable to what it has declared the foundation of its establishment to be.
I’m sure you’re already aware of Martin Luther King Jr.’s significance in history. So, as we pause on this day to remember Martin Luther King, Jr., also do personal analysis and reflection. How have you honored what he has helped us to accomplish as a race of people? What else can be done to maximize the potential of his vision?
*Include among your New Year’s resolutions plans to increase your knowledge of the civil rights struggle and the sacrifices he along with other black men and women have made to achieve equality. An awareness of the past creates a renewed sense of appreciation for the present. And what we appreciate we value and preserve.
*Study their character and accomplishments as a point of reference for dealing with adversity. Whether considered educated or not, they were prepared for the possible consequences of their actions and knowledgeable about the laws they sought to change. They were organized and goal-directed. Each challenge that was faced wasn’t just to cause a scene or engage in a power struggle, but to demonstrate how committed they were to social and political equality.
Their focus remained problem-oriented and not people-oriented, careful not to adopt the thoughts and ways of those that stood against them but instead focus on the desired outcome.
*Find ways to become more active in your community. Whether it’s a local civic organization or church group, dedicate yourself to increasing your presence and participation in your area. Keep abreast of news and current events that affect voting rights and other concerns. Use your vote to make positive changes that preserve the foundation Martin Luther King, Jr. and others have helped to build.
To learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, visit www.thekingcenter.org . To view a complete transcription of the I Have A Dream speech, visit www.usconstitution.net/dream.html or visit YouTube to watch. Just type Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech in the search engine.
**The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are that solely of The Big Girl Chronicles. Martin Luther King, Jr., his family, The King Center nor any of its affiliates should be held responsible for the contents.