Ek’abo Ebi! (Welcome Family!)
“We must learn to live together as brothers
or perish together as fools.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)
As we celebrate Dr. King’s life, (this year will mark forty-six years since his assassination) it saddens me to know that the dream he had for us has taken on a greyish hue. Dr. King wanted all races, all people to live in harmony. I’ll admit that there have been improvements through the decades, but not enough. Just when you think there might be a chance that we’ll all find some equal footing, we are faced with more conflict, more tension and more ignorance. Not just between blacks and whites, but between people of color. Every day when you turn on the news, there is another report regarding black on black crime. I believe we are failing Dr. King and failing the legacy that he left behind. He wanted so much for us. His vision for the future was a bright one. We have yet to learn to live together as brothers and sisters. Did Dr. King die in vain? Will we ever be able to truly live in harmony?
Dr. King, like Nelson Mandela was a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded it for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In addition to all his other honors, he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1986. But it wasn’t observed by all 50 states until the year 2000. In his short life, Dr. King was a civil rights activist, pastor, humanitarian, leader (as well as a husband and father).
The purpose of the March on Washington (actually called The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom) in 1963, was to address a number of demands. Among them were the passage of meaningful civil rights legislation, removal of racial segregation in public schools, protection from police brutality and other important topics.
This year will commemorate nineteen years since the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. Its purpose was to help men of color (people of color at large) re-evaluate their purpose and responsibility in connection to their communities. Both demonstrations resulted in changes in the way people looked at the issues with race and how it was (and is) more important than ever to unify as a people.
Are we going to perish as fools, doomed to hatred, ignorance, and un-enlightenment? What are your intentions for the future? We can all (even in the smallest way) work towards the vision that Dr. King had for us. Whether you are educating the youth (through writing or speaking), recognizing and respecting the differences in others or even appreciating the potential that we all share and how we can benefit one another, we can one day realize Dr. King’s dream.
All we have to do is, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Mari e laipe!
See you soon!
Thanks for visiting ‘Amachi is Hope.’ If you were inspired or felt a connection with today’s blog (or any of my previous entries) please leave a comment. J