MLK Day: What Can We Learn From the Man, the Life, the Legacy?
The year was 1963. I was a 6 year old boy living in a village in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) when my mom screamed and started crying. She had just heard the news of JFK’s death, her US president who inspired her generation.
It was Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) who that year gave the “I have a dream” speech (you can see the speech here… ) and wrote from the Birmingham jail (more here… ) of the very different experience for African Americans (he called Negroes in his letter back then). His influence on society and JFK was profound and lead the changes of the civil rights movement. Through peaceful demonstrations, countless changes were made to bring us closer to equality of opportunities in this country not based on the color of one’s skin.
While we have come a long way as a country, the divide for those with color in our country is often still wide. I have helped raise 10 children (5 are Zimbabwean- now might start to consider themselves African-American) and they all have experienced harsh racism. Yes it still exists and we live in liberal Portland, Oregon. I imagine for many in the south, the tensions and racism is much more intense.
Take a moment this MLK day to reflect on how you can help the cause of equality and justice for all.