Never Forget. Never
Falter. The words of Dr.
King live on. Embrace them for
Beneath the lush golden
sky symbolizing the Deep
South, a nostalgic haze
looms across the terrain. On this evening, tourists visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center are deep in
thought, as they commemorate the annual
holiday of America’s perennial Black leader.
Hence, in celebrating this notable observance,
I thought it was only fitting, to pay tribute to the man dubbed the most
prolific civil rights activist of the 20th century. So without further adieu, I present The Dreamer Lives.
Someone Awesome This Way Cometh
winds of hate and turbulence seared the heart of the South in the 50s and 60s.
It was a time when Blacks stopped shuffling to White America’s dance of
servitude, and created their own waltz of deliverance from bondage. Consequently, the man who led Blacks to
freedom after centuries of captivity was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From a distance, he
appeared to the average person as just another Black man. But there was nothing
average about this Georgia native. He was remarkably charismatic, with the
wisdom of a prophet, and the voice of a hollow drum reverberating in the Congo.
King was on the surface,
an influential minister who called on love and vindication to quench the raging
fire of racial discrimination. In a span of 13 years from (1955-1968), he
boldly marched his people into the Promise Land, as did Moses with the Israelites.
For 400 years Blacks had
been told to wait. Wait for justice. Wait for equality. Wait for the right to
be treated with courtesy and respect. Wait for the right to vote. Wait for the
right to enter the front door of a hotel or restaurant, without being arrested.
Now the wait was over, and the Day of Redemption was dawning.
He was our gallant
warrior, battling a vicious White establishment that continued to inflict
second-class citizenship upon its Black citizens. King was both a leader and a
strategist. He was not willing to settle for less than what he asked for, and
procured more for Blacks than they were able to attain in four centuries under
the auspices of White dictatorship.
He Lives On!
Forty-two years after his
assassination, Dr. King is still proclaimed the greatest Black leader of the 20th
century. His efforts to unite the oppressed and the free brought him many
awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. King’s vehicles of protest were the
sit-ins, boycotts and marches. “We Shall Overcome” was his rallying cry and the
cities of Selma and Montgomery, the battlegrounds where he fought for our rights.
He showed a nation of
22,000,000 Blacks, why they could no longer remain buried under the shackles of
oppression. As the Civil Rights
Revolution’s, foremost leader, he often wondered why he had been chosen to bear
such a heavy cross. Thus, upon his
shoulders, we hoisted our hopes and dreams, and he never complained. Often the
ghost of uncertainty haunted him with relentless zeal, still he held onto God’s
hands, and with us as his disciples, he was victorious.
A Celebration of Hope
Each year Americans of all
races set aside their differences and pay tribute to the grandson of a former
slave, who fulfilled the Biblical adage, “He who is last shall be first, and He
who is first shall be last.”
Keeping the Dream Alive in the 21st
It is not enough to
remember Dr. King; it is necessary also to vindicate him by letting his light
shine in our lives. As African-Americans
we are challenged to bring his dream to fruition. We can do that by believing
in ourselves and using every available resource to make us a better race,
instead of one that constantly complains, and refuses to take advantage of the
wonderful opportunities we have because of this great American.
Beyond all that, we
remember his most poignant creed, hope. For Dr. King never stopped hoping. He
never ceased to believe that the Dream and the Dreamers would prevail. And if
he could speak to us from beyond the grave, he would tell us that nothing can
stop us if we keep the faith. His memory lives on, and so we go forth, knowing
there is still much work to be done, before we are truly, “Free at last, Free