Today is the holiday to commemorate the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This would have been his 94th birthday. Rev. Dr. King is someone that I admire. I was a toddler when he was assassinated and therefore have no recollection of his life. But I know the non-violent work he did has benefited me as a person of the African diaspora.
Yesterday, I attended a remembrance program put on by the Columbia, SC Branch of the NAACP. The messages shared reminded me that there is still much work to do for justice within the Black community. Also, yesterday was the actual birthday of Rev. Dr. King and his daughter Rev. Bernice King flooded her Instagram timeline with photos of her parents. Looking at her photos and reading her words reminded me that Rev. Dr. King was not only a civil rights leader but a husband and father. He was also someone’s son and brother.
I am privileged to work for a national nonprofit organization focused on criminal justice reform, tech equity, and environmental justice. The work I do is helping people who look like me have better opportunities in life. After having worked in the private corporate sector with a focus on profits for over 25 years, working for meaningful change is refreshing and rewarding.
Today, I took time to read in full the “I Have a Dream” speech that Rev. Dr. King delivered during the ‘March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom‘ on August 28, 1963. The dream message came near the end of the speech, prompted by the late Mahalia Jackson. The earlier parts of the speech focused on the need for justice. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read this powerful speech and take in each word. Then take up the charge to be a positive change for the justice that is still needed in our nation and on our planet. Let us give Rev. Dr. King a birthday gift of continuing the work.