Monday, January 21, 2008
Honoring the Legacy
Today is the day we officially celebrate Dr. King’s life. There will be lots of speeches, marching and the singing of Lift Every Voice and Sing. All of that is cool but we need to get a deeper meaning from this day.
Everyone should remember that Dr. King had a doctorate. It wasn’t one of those honorary kind they give people for speaking at graduations. He also was a pastor. That means during the time of his life he was among the best and brightest we had to offer.
He could have lived a very long life preaching and raising his kids, yet he chose to put his life on the line to speak out for everybody. When he was assassinated in Memphis he was there to help sanitation workers. He gave his life trying to help his people. It didn’t matter if they were educated, or Baptist, or lived in a certain area of town. Imagine if we had that today? What if we still had that sense of community that we pretend to have now? We don’t really want to admit that the old neighborhood is a ghetto because many of us left it and never came back. That’s understandable to me because we were taught that way. Remember in school when there was a career day. They would always bring in that guy who went to your school and was highly successful. He would give you that speech about how he had made it out of that raggedy ass place you live and never came back. Then you went home and looked at your family like a bunch of losers. You go to school with your mind solely on getting the hell out. It’s no wonder poor black people have such a hard time getting support from their own. That’s why Dr. King’s death was so tragic. He didn’t live long enough to explain that the dream didn’t mean to split your own community. People took that one phrase, exploited it and buried the rest of his message. I think we need to do something to help another person that may not have it as good as we do. That could be something as small as helping a child in your family learn how to read or helping one of your friends get their GED. Making the lives of everyone better is how you honor the man. If we can’t do that then we all should have went to work today.