Monday, January 16, 2006

TDIH: The Birth of a Dream

This day in history saw the War Department form the 1st Army Air Corps squadron for black cadets. This day in history saw Benny Goodman refuse to play Carnegie Hall when black members of his band were barred from performing. This day in history General William Sherman issued field order #15 setting aside land for blacks. This day in history saw the entrance of the first black government in the Bahamas. This day in history we observe the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Like Julie over at Red State Rebels, I truly feel that as each year passes I grow deeper in my appreciation for Martin Luther King Day. Over the years I have come to realize just what one man's dream means to this nation and to human rights at large.

"Let us therefore continue our triumphal march to the realization of the American dream.... for all of us today, the battle is in our hands....The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one. There are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions.... We are still in for the season of suffering.... How long? Not long. Because no lie can live forever....our God is marching on."

When Dr. King gave this speech on the steps of the state capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25, 1965, there was no way of knowing just how far his words would travel, how far reaching his influence would be. Today, nearly forty years later those words mean so much to me. Not just because it brings to mind the song that in my heart is America and the American dream, but because his humble words speak volumes to the American soul.

I agree with Morgan Freeman when it comes to whether or not this country should celebrate Black History Month-- Black history is American history. We need not celebrate for a month, but every day of our lives the work, achievement and dream of those who brought peace and freedom to an entire race of people.

A phrase from the Gettysburg Address always comes to mind when speaking of Dr. King-- "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." We may not all have burned in our memories the words of Dr. Kings famous "I Have a Dream Speech," but we will forever remember what he did when he rose on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial August 28th, 1963. He spoke for voiceless people. He acted for the actionless. His dream was the dream of an entire nation.

"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart." --Dr. King

In my head and in my heart I respect Dr. King on a level few will ever reach.

No comments :