Sunday, October 16, 2011 is the dedicatory celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC. It opened to the public August 22, almost fifty years after “The Great March on Washington,” Wednesday, August 28, 1963, took place.
But what this day will be most remembered for is Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 17-minute, “I Have a Dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial. It is noted that, “At the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme of ‘I Have a Dream,’ possibly prompted by Mahalia Jackson’s cry, ‘Tell them about the dream, Martin!’” (www.wikipedia.com) In it he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination.
But it would be a great disservice to Dr. King and the thousands who suffered and died so that we can have the freedoms we experience today, if we didn’t keep the dream alive?
So how can we keep the dream alive?
We can start by sharing our history with this generation. Whether you are African-American or not, the fight for equality crosses all races and it’s important that we tell them so that they will have a greater understanding of our country’s history.
I wasn’t born when Dr. King gave this speech but my ancestors remind me of the struggles they went through during that time at family gatherings and how they depended on God to get them through. Freedoms we have such as attending an amusement park, voting and intermingling with all races in public places was unheard of.
Therefore, if you didn’t live through those times, ask a grandparent, aunt or senior to share their stories with you and your child(ren). You can also educate yourself by reading African-American history books, reading information on appropriate websites or by watching a documentary with your children. And no, your child(ren) may not want to participate but it may be the best education that they will ever receive.
So as thousands from all races participate in the ceremonies this week, attend or view Sunday’s dedication where our first African-American President Barack Obama will be the keynote speaker, let it be more than an event. But a time to thank God for how far He has brought us and to rededicate ourselves to keep the dream alive as we share it with current and future generations.
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:7
Click on this link to hear or read the “I Have a Dream” speech, http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm. And if you would like to make a donation toward the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, log onto www.mlkmemorial.org.
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Reveal the Real You Poetry Collection,” http://www.amazon.com.