Each year as January 15 rolls around, we are reminded that Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. lived. He preached the word of God and helped the world to understand what love of fellow man was about, and then he died, leaving the work of spreading equality to the rest of us.
The evidence of the work of Dr. King is everywhere. The Civil Rights Bill was signed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, a southern Senator from Texas, who was bred for completing the job started by President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It gave Black Americans the right to equal employment, equal housing, and the right not to be discriminated against because of the color of their skin.
The promoters of Dr. King’s message of love equality and non-violence are everywhere, from Harry Belafonte and Dick Gregory, to Sidney Poitier. Entertainers who have gone on before us such as, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Moms Mabley, the first Black female to appear at the Apollo Theater in New York, and the first Black female to appear on television and at Carnegie Hall. Moms Mabley made the song, “Abraham, Martin and John”, part of her act.
The haters persist, as they work to deny Black voters the vote in some northern and southern states. God gives us new leaders to carry on what they learned by watching Dr. King. Our President, Barack Obama, was inspired by Dr. King’s life. Bill de Blasio, the new, white mayor of New York City, with his bi-racial family, son Dante, daughter Chiara, and wife Chirlane McCray, is testimony to the work of Dr. King’s work.
NAACP President, Reverend Dr. William J. Barber of North Carolina, provides leadership of a new movement in Dr. King’s non-violent image. His words are like magic moving people of all colors, ages and creeds towards justice and equality for a new Century through the Moral Monday demonstrations. Clearly a disciple of Dr. King, the Moral Monday’s movement has moved on to Georgia, as of January 13, 2014, with a march scheduled for February 8th, as it heads through the south and on throughout the United States. Reverend Barber’s call to the citizenry includes Dr King’s message when he says, “If you believe that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” show up.
I am reminded of Dr. Kings last speech in Memphis, TN when he said that he had seen the promised land, and while he may not get there with us, we will get there. Messengers and disciples like Reverend Barber, Reverend Al Sharpton, and others as yet unnamed who are coming along, must carry on the fight for justice and equality against those who still believe that the white race is superior.
Over the next few days we will hear the words of Dr. King’s Dream from children and politicians. Those words are empty without mention of the pretext of the insufficient funds on the promissory note that all men are guaranteed the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The words of the dream are empty without a path to the benefits to the promise, including the direct action of marches, sit-ins, and negotiations for a crisis and resulting creative tension written about by Dr King in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”.
We all must show up and find something to do for someone that helps to fulfill the promise that leads to the fulfillment of the dream.