Archive for the ‘Martin Luther King’ Category

Photos from the MLK Parade

January 19, 2009

These pics are from the MLK Parade on Saturday. Many of the City Councilmembers, City Manager Mary Suhm, and others showed up. Dwaine had a float, and afterwards then we went on the platforms and Dwaine emceed part of the parade. It felt good to get love directly from the people we are working hard to help.

Advertisements

Martin Luther King Jr – The Dream Lives On

January 19, 2009

We all know that January 15th is his actual birthday, but many use the following Monday as a day to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

As a fellow alumnus of Morehouse, his ideals have always been a constant presence in my life. I think a lot of what I said on the fortieth anniversary of his death still applies.

On the eve of one of America’s most historic events, a lot of progress has been made but a lot of work is still undone.

Martin Luther King Jr’s Assassination – 40 years later

April 4, 2008

On this day 40 years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis.

If Dr. King were alive today, I think he would be puzzled by the mixed messages in our country.

He would be proud of a Barack Obama or a Cory Booker, that possess the education and desire to improve their country and city respectively. He would be appalled at the BET’s and Bob Johnson’s of the world, that used their opportunity to have a large impact on the minds of youth but did it in such a destructive manner and had the nerve to call it Black Entertainment Television.

I believe that Dr. King would wonder why the dropout levels are where they stand, and why many of our neighborhoods still harbor a crushing level of poverty. King would be appreciative at the strides made in the halls of political power, but stunned at some elected officials that use their positions to pat themselves on their back at every opportunity and make themselves rich instead of affecting real change.

King would wonder why some people that have great wealth because of the foundation that was laid by him and other social drum majors have not used that wealth to improve the lives and opportunities of the neighborhoods from which they came. Do you think Dr. King and others died so you could walk around with your pants hanging off of your behind and disrespect women, to sell crack rock, and to use your political power to oppress your own people? No! They sacrificed so you could make the most of the economic, educational, and social opportunities afforded to us.

I feel that Dr. King would have been proud of the opportunities for people of all races to integrate, but disappointed at what some of us have done with the opportunity.

Growing up as a child of the 70s and 80s, we didn’t have the luxury of having a Robert Kennedy, a JFK, and a Martin Luther King Jr in our midst. That’s why many of us in younger generations look up to Barack so much. As a student at Morehouse College, seeing Dr. King’s statue on campus as I walked to class reminded me of the opportunities that are available to me.

I feel that Dr. King would lean on his faith and hope that someday we as a country could realize our past wrongs and look at the positive progress we have made and build on it for the future.

Earlier this week, a mayor of a small town in Alabama summed it up in this way:

“I think we’d be a lot further ahead than we are now if he had not been assassinated. Dr. King made some great, great inroads not just to changing the issues of segregation, but changing the issues for us as a whole, about being kind to people, recognizing people’s worth, to realize that all human beings are created equal by God, and he would want us to treat each other with dignity and respect because of that.”

Remember, Dr. King died at the age of 39 years old. If he had listened to a bunch of his detractors, some of which were black and withdrew support of King in the last year of his life, and “waited his turn” we would have never had a King legacy to follow. Fortunately, Dr. King had great mentors like Dr. Howard Thurman to encourage his pursuits. For those of you that haven’t heard of Howard Thurman, he was a valedictorian graduate of Morehouse that went on to become a noted preacher and educator and helped to establish the first racially integrated, multicultural church in the United States.

One of Dr. Thurman’s famous quotes urged you “meet the man that will challenge you to grow tall enough to wear the crown that God has placed above your head.”

It is not just about having the opportunity, it’s about what you do with that chance. It’s not about blaming everyone else, but looking in the mirror and seeing what you can do to make this a better place. My heroes are made up of all colors of people, and I believe that Dr. King shared that same philosophy.

In terms of economic, educational, and social opportunity, we need to look at our own lives and make the decision that we can do more to improve our city and country. Our opportunity in the country is boundless, let’s make the best of it for our generation and those coming up behind us.