Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day

Today, we took time out to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A lot of people think this is his birthday but his actual date of birth was January 15, 1929. I never understood why we couldn’t celebrate this day on his day. But nevertheless, he deserves much praise for launching and dedicating his life to The Civil Rights Movement. As a poet, I am honored that my first poetry award was for a poem I wrote in honor of this great man at only eight years old. I have tried to find it online but I have not had any success.

My question is, has Dr. King’s legacy lived on or did his mission for equality slowly die through the generations? In my personal opinion, I honestly believe it didn’t die but it hasn’t grown any either. We are reminded each day of the alarming number of young black men and women dying at the hands of white police officers who police communities from which they do not come. Police are placed in areas where they don’t understand the way of life. Therefore, they are automatically afraid due to stigmas and stereotypes to get to know the people they should be serving instead of killing.

Also, in my opinion, there are people who notice our differences but aren’t threatened by them and can have a friendship with anyone regardless of race or ethnicity. Then there are people who would notice our differences and be threatened by them. These people refuse to believe everyone is equal and made in Gods image. The hate that they were taught to have, feel and express toward others unlike them outweighs any ability to perceive the world any different than through hateful eyes.

Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. your mission may not live on throughout this world but it does live in me. We all have the opportunity to raise our voice and continue the work of Dr. King. We can each contribute daily to his legacy by being kind, helpful, loving, godly and prayerful toward our fellow man.

He was about freedom, equality, desegregation, an end to hate, nonviolence, and etc., therefore we should remember that without him, we would not have the privileges we have today. Still, I feel as if his dream is a dream deferred somehow simply because we don’t have the leaders they had back in their day. There’s no one in our communities for our children to look up to.

During Dr. Kings era, black communities had leaders who met with other leaders, community heads, pastors, and elders at the church Mother’s home. They aired out grievances which were met with solutions that were done and not just talked about. We need these type of leaders now; those unafraid of strife, who stand tall and strong, who make a name for themselves by following Dr. King’s footsteps. Only then will the dreams, legacy, and mission of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., truly live on.

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