Greetings all, I hope you are having a wonder-filled day celebrating and reflecting on the legacy of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I myself am just back from participating in our MLK day parade and I must say I had a great time. To see all of the people of every race and ethnicity side by side out on the street together in unity celebrating the greatness of this man and possibly unknowingly celebrating the greatness within ourselves was truly a magnificent sight. If only we would hold on to this magnificence every day of our lives and continue to work (on ourselves first) to eradicate poverty, racism, classism, sexism and to work towards equality then we can continue to carry on the legacy of Dr. King. After all that is what he dreamed of and risked his life for.
I sometimes wonder if those of us who have only had to hear about the perils of racism and segregation but have never experienced it personally appreciate that we are living in the reality of Dr. Kings dream. Segregation ended just prior to me making my entrance into the world so I have never had to experience what it was like to be denied the right to drink out of any water fountain that I selected or sit where I chose in a restaurant or walk on whatever side of the street that I chose to just because I was black.
Growing up in a small predominantly white mining town with a population of less than 4,000 people where everyone knew everyone else and was friendly to everyone else, I didn’t experience the perils of racism until I was an adult. I had no idea that being able to be best friends with and play with children of other races wasn’t always acceptable. I didn’t know that I was living in a reality that was at one point only a dream to those that came before me. I didn’t realize that being able to walk on any side of the street in our small town and swim in the pool with everyone else on hot summer days wasn’t always allowed. I didn’t know that my reality was only a dream to those that came before me. I didn’t know that being able to slow dance with a white boy at my school dance was at one time not accepted. I didn’t know that my reality was his dream. I didn’t know that sitting with my non-black friends in Sunday school and church every Sunday was at one time impossible. I didn’t know that my reality was his dream. I didn’t know that sitting side by side in class at school with my white friends was at some point not allowed. I didn’t know that the reality I lived with was only a dream to some.
Although I realize that we still have a long way to go in this world to eradicate the evils of poverty and racism I also know that we have come so far! I live in a middle class neighborhood where people of all races live and no one blinks at the fact that their neighbor is Asian-American, Native-American, Latino,White or African-American. although I don’t take this for granted and know that the ism’s still exist, I can say that I am proud to know that the reality I and my children live in was a dream come true for Dr. King and those that fought so tirelessly to end segregation.
Thank you Dr. King and everyone else black, white or otherwise who saw to it that his dream has become our reality!