Monday, January 21, 2013

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

**A word of caution before proceeding.  This post is not intended to offend anyone.  It is to point to a beautiful experience I had yesterday.**

The past three years, Black History Month has been a time of great frustration for me.  My Alma Mater began dedicating a week to it during my sophomore year.  Almost every chapel or gathering would leave me feeling guilty for being white, something over which I have no control. 

Yesterday, I went downtown to practice covering a story for the paper before legitimately covering stories (starting tomorrow).  The event was an annual legacy walk to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  As I milled around, observed, and took notes, I realized I recognized a number of faces.

The walk ended at the Town Hall steps.  A local pastor, who heard Dr. King give his "I Have a Dream" speech, read the powerful words that forever changed the fight for equality.  As the words echoed on our ears, the meaning echoed in my heart.  The original motivation for the speech came from a man who desired freedom and equal treatment for ALL.  He experienced being treated as less of a person than someone else.

A song was sung, a welcome given, and a prayer lifted up.  Various members of the community, black and white, spoke a few words.  The theme echoing from the lips of pastors, government officials, and community members was "look how far we have come, and see where we can go!"  It was a celebration of the fight put forth by MLK and others.  It was an encouragement to persevere and continue the fight for which many gave their lives.

Sunglasses hid the tears that threatened to fall.  I swayed to the music.  I laughed and smiled.  Inside, I rejoiced with those around me.  And, afterwards I enjoyed good food and community.

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