This week, we are celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who heroically progressed The Civil Rights Movement by the example that he set in his life’s work. Many will focus on King’s march to Washington and his momentous “I Have a Dream” speech. Truly, there is great cause for why we laud King with well earned praise; he eloquently and unequivocally delivered a needed message of accountability and dared to challenge the nation to become a better place.
I love Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech. Each year, I look forward to seeing an oratory contest in Houston where Elementary aged children learn and memorize the speech, performing and delivering the same around the holiday. In a way, seeing the younger generations study the words and works of Dr. King feels like maybe, just maybe, we are coming closer to the vision that King cast.
However, as much as we champion the “Dream” speech, in some ways we pigeonhole the long history that Dr. King had in campaigning for the Civil Rights Movement, peaceful protest, as much as against the brutality that it was met with. We don’t immediately address the violence that was perpetrated against King. We don’t immediately address the multiple arrests that King experienced leading sit ins. We don’t think about King’s words against white moderates being enemies to justice.
All of which are also increasingly relevant contributions.
So, I’m focusing this year on the letters that King wrote from Birmingham Jail, that I may be better versed in the work he produced across many years both in his ministry and civil activism.
The track this week is U2’s “Pride (In The Name of Love)”. Admittedly, I thought to use this track on the Lorraine Motel post, but the 45 didn’t arrive in time and so I used the Brandi Carlisle tune you heard. Once received, as I traveled to Birmingham Police Department, it was indeed on the playlist to consider including this week.
I dream of making more sense of our current world, that we use civility and humanity, fight for what we believe in using nonviolent means and lobbying for justice. And, I dream that we begin to look more toward taking care of one another through identifying our similarities before we hold onto our difference.
Until our next adventure!