Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr and Me...

When I was growing up MLK Jr day meant "NO SCHOOL!!!" and I had bragging rights that my birthday was (sometimes) on the same day as MLK Jr day (such as this year...LOL). Every Friday preceding King's holiday, we'd watch the MLK Jr movie in English or history class.  In my mind, the fact that my birthday was so closely related to his meant I was destined for greatness too, tho when I was younger this greatness was short lived as I barely could stand watching the many tributes to him on tv and preferred to watch "Ricki Lake" on my day off. 

As I got older, I began to learn more about the man and myself. I could not aspire to do great if I didn't know the greats. The first time I was mad about my "black-ness" was when I first moved to Maryland and discovered that "African American History" was not requirement, let alone offered in my new high school. I had such an attitude about it and realized then that if I wanted to learn OUR/MY history, I had to go out and learn on my own. I opted to go to an HBCU my senior year in college, despite being offered a partial scholarship to a seemingly "better" school. I have never regretted my decision to go to Morgan State, despite what others may say. There black history was "required" for graduation and it wasn't a floater class...my professor wrote our text book and knowing about Black History Month would not get you a pass.

This is when I finally truly LEARNED about Martin Luther King Jr. I finally listened and comprehended what this man was saying in his "I had a dream" speech and read about his life and his fight for equality. One quote that always stood out to me was: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." These words were powerful on many levels.


I will not bore people with long drawn out blogs on MLK Jr's greatness...I urge people to go out and learn more about this man on their own. It's not enough that I tell you about his marches, the non-violent resistance, or his messages...or anything. I am sure you have heard it all before. However I employ you to figure out the real reason why you celebrate today. Think about how this man died for our rights while you post "Happy Birthday MLK" on twitter and facebook.

In order to become great, one must do great things. Martin Luther King Jr did great things. And we will do great things to once we realize that we are the ones we've been waiting for.

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