Friday, April 4, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King - May He Rest In Peace


April 4th marks the 40th anniversary of his death by assassination. I lived through his struggles in the 50's and 60's. Being young, white, and rebellious, his cause was mine as well. Being young and self-absorbed (as most adolescents seem to be) I did not really understand the impact of what was actually transpiring. The impact and changes that this great man was making was beyond my ability to foresee. We now live as a better society as a result of his work and sacrifice. It is a loss to our Country that he was assassinated and that that he could not continue his calling until a natural death. It is a loss because so many individuals and special interest groups have abrogated the message of his work. On August 28, 1963 he gave his speech at the Lincoln Memorial commonly known as "I Have A Dream." I rank Dr. King's speech with Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" and Roosevelt's "Day In Infamy." His wonderful dream has disappeared. It has been replaced by an ideology of mistrust, entitlement, and anger. Dr. King would not have had this as a goal. Has his 'Dream' died?. Langston Hughes, a Harlem Renaissance poet, published the poem "A Dream Deferred" in 1951. Read slowly and reflectively. There seems to be much prophesy in the poem.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Has Dr. King's 'Dream' been differed? May he rest with God, but his dream become, once again, aliven


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