Thank You Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - An open letter to MLK.
by Alecia James Monday, January 19, 2015
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
Dear Dr. King,
You were one of the most illustrious civil rights activists of our time, who didn't sleep, didn't sit, didn't rest, and certainly, did not fall. You valiantly stood firmly for what you believed in—freedom, justice, and equality for all. You stood against oppression, discrimination, racism and the sufferings of your people.
For that, I just want to say a big Thank You! to you, and to all those who fought, and are still fighting for our freedoms. I extend gratitude to those who don't turn a blind eye, or remain "neutral" but will boldly proclaim that a "wrong" is indeed a "wrong," and will never settle in the hollows of injustice.
Thank you Dr. King, for not staying silent, but for the boycotts, the marches, and the protests that you lead, solidifying your stance against injustice, racism and segregation.
You spoke from the heart, with eloquence, dignity and virtue, capturing the minds and souls of so many--millions. Thank you.
When you gallantly led the March on Washington, a symbolic moment that would change the landscape of history forever, we saw a manifestation of your fortitude, your unwavering fight, and your unbridled devotion for humanity. Thank you for that pivotal mark.
The cries of your "I Have a Dream Speech" still echo loudly in our ears. You orchestrated the need for a change, and in your own words, to "dramatize a shameful condition." I'm still mesmerized by your metaphoric usage and rhetoric wields.
Dr. King, although we have progressed significantly since your great march, there are many times when I do feel like we've regressed quite a few steps. I'll give an example. Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, died from a choke-hold by an NYPD officer last year in New York. Can you believe that the officer who deprived him of his right to life walked free, and was not indicted by the grand jury?
This incident and many others, have sparked outrage across the country resulting in numerous protests and demonstration from people of all walks demanding fairness and justice. Most of the protests were in line with your directives that "We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline" and that "We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence." You'd be pleased to know that they were primarily peacefully done.
When Barack Obama graced the White House in 2008, as the first African American President of the United States, we received assurance that your "Dream" and your hopes, were not in vain. They were realized and came to fruition. I know you were elated to learn this.
As a Black woman, I write this letter with pride, with gratitude for your leadership, your concerted efforts, your resolve and your vigor.
So, what's my dream today? Oh my, I have so many. But in sum, I dream we'll all speak the language of love and obliterate the painful daggers of hate. I pray for PEACE. I dream for a change in the educational, social, and financial disparity seen along different racial lines. I dream for oneness and happiness.
What I can say, is that I will do my part to ensure that your dream lives on and that your words did not fall on deaf ears. The universal success and unity of mankind will be a testament to this.
And my faith is aligned with yours, the faith that we will truly be free one day. The faith you so excitedly speak of, and as such, I'll end with an excerpt from your speech.
"With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."
There's so much that I want to say, but thank you for now! There's no doubt that you were BOLD, ALLURING and DIFFERENT!
Best Regards ,
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