Hi Guys and a happy Saturday to you all! I have been in a state of silence the last few days because of the personal anguish I feel over the current state of worldly matters. Through it all, I have carried the conviction, that we have come far from the days of racial inequality and injustices, social and economic unrest, gender identities and their biases, but, why must a few voices of the loudest drown out the voices of the millions with the same faith, good judgment, and sincere positivity? Why must a handful few tarnish the legacies of so many who have dedicated their lives to improve the lives of the improvished masses without wanting anything in return?
During this week’s dark stupor, I turned to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, which can be read HERE, to lighten the mood. I read this speech in college and again a few years ago when I was feeling low about the world affairs. And honestly, it is one of the most uplifting and well-written speeches that is appropriate for even today’s time. I think news media like CNN should take a page out of this speech and broadcast news that matches the intelligence of the American people, like Martin Luther King Jr. did in 1963.
The speech is peppered with imagery of dark and light to signify the power struggle of races in the 1960’s. Don’t confuse the “dark” with the dark skin color or the “light” with the light skin color. I think MLK was trying to point how ironically the “colored” folks were literally in the dark by being mistreated and ridiculed, and wanted to be where the light was–signifying freedom. The tone of the speech is to move people to do something, to achieve something great, rather than to rile them up, or instigate pessimism. He references the intentions of the nation’s architects with great respect, which I am sorry to say, is marred regularly by the hateful media rhetoric, carefully chosen to intentionally miscommunicate issues and perpetuate partisanship among people. When you use language to pull in your listeners from the trenches of disappointment or disbelief and encourage them to fight towards a common goal for the common good, that is a sign of a leader, not a follower.When you read this speech, please concentrate on the biblical, literary, and figurative images he uses to get the point across to those millions who believed and kept faith in God and were breathing for the day when they will be treated “by the content of their character”, not by the “color of their skin”.
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in United States and I wanted to recommend some books to my readers. I haven’t read these books myself, but they have won pulitzers.
- “The King Trilogy” by Taylor Branch (see HERE), which is currently unavailable on Amazon, but you can still save. The Pulitzer-prize winning trilogy consists of “Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963”, “Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65”, and “At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years 1965-68″. Notice the biblical references in the titles.
“Strength to Love” by Martin Luther King Jr. (See HERE) is a collection of 15 inspiring sermons throughout which Dr. King draws on scripture in order to illuminate the road to social justice.
“Bearing the Cross”, by David Garrow (See HERE) is a raw glimpse of the man who led the Civil Rights Movement. The book does not idealize King, yet readers will come away with a better understanding of his faults and admiring the strength of a man whose philosophies were grounded in faith.
“The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.”, by Martin Luther King Jr. and Clayborne Carson (See HERE) comes as close to an autobiography of King as possible by compiling his writings to depict his life through his own words.
“A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.”, by David Adler (See HERE) makes King’s biography accessible to children, and provides a good launching point for a classroom (or bedtime) discussion of the history of race relations in America.
Well, guys, I hope you will research this great man and be inspired to learn that a Southern pastor with something to say can be the father of a civil right’s movement. Happy Reading!!