To mourn his loss and honor his accomplishments?
Yes, but we can't stop there.
We have not transcended race or gender…we have not defeated poverty…we are a nation once again at war…we have yet to overcome.
In honoring Dr. King and all of those who participated in the movement we must also acknowledge our capabilities and breathe life into what can be.
Today, nooses are hung on high school campuses and arrogantly displayed on the cover of national magazines…media critics discuss how even racists will vote for an ‘acceptably black’ candidate and fashion editors chastise women of color for wearing natural hairstyles in corporate environments…the achievement of thousands is credited to the system they struggled against…the historic campaign of Shirley Chisholm is scarcely mentioned in an election year where a woman and a black man are trying to do separately what she strove to do as one in 1972…white supremacists plan to march in Jena Louisiana even as the language of immigration reform is laced with bigotry and fear…and education is still separate and unequal.
We are a nation that does not resist funding war but hesitates to feed the hungry, that rushes to close the doors of opportunity that many an ancestor walked through not 100 years ago and that tolerates a system more interested in pandering to corporations than respecting workers.
Now is the time to bring back the Poor People’s Campaign, mobilize in opposition to war, resist The Man’s efforts to divide people of color and progressive causes, educate and empower your community to vote and participate and be heard.
Now is the time to honor the King legacy through action and unite in the struggle for what I know is possible…
…no longer a dream, more a reality yet to be achieved.