Today we pay tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Some fifty years after his assassination, we laud him and lift him to the level of American hero and icon; but let’s not forget for one moment that at the time he was reviled by many and treated as a fomentor, a rabble-rouser. We whitewash history to omit the fact that he and many others of the Civil Rights movement were met with abject public resistance in the form of ridicule, unequal treatment under the law, attack dogs, fire hoses, bombings, death, et al.
Thank God Americans can and continue grow and change in their perceptions of people of color.
This quote by Dr. King is one of my favorites because it resonates not only with black Americans’ fight for Civil Rights in the 1960s and the fight for human rights (those of people of color, gender equality, LGBT rights, religious freedoms, and people with disabilities, to name a few) which continues today, but it speaks to universal issues all humans face — matters of faith, self-esteem, purpose, community — and humbly offering them to the Creator for the fulfillment of his purpose.
(Thanks for the nudge, Saira Salyani.)
Originally published at www.clayrivers.com on January 16, 2017.