In commemorating the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the great civil rights leader, clergyman and teacher, let us be animated and energized by the enactment of Dr. King’s words, “Let freedom bells ring,” “I have a dream.”
What a story to tell and keep retelling so that we do not forget where we are coming from, where we are, and where we are going.
Hence the commemoration of the birth of Dr. King, the father of the civil rights movement in America, enables all Americans, particularly African Americans, West Indians, Africans and all people of color to sustain a constant sense of history. We must keep alive the complete circumference of Dr. King’s accomplishments before us and pass it down to each generation.
At each commemoration, all celebrants ought to recapitulate King’s dream for a better America and a better world. This underscores economic, justice, education, political rights, and international peace for all. So in celebrating Dr. King’s dreams, participants are empowered to look beyond a mere one-day or one-year event.
Struggling men and women, the young and the old are brought into the dream; they are transformed and continue to dream.
In other words, King’s call for freedom and justice beckons men and women of good will everywhere to join hands and build bridges of love and understanding for better living, a safer, happier, and more productive world for our children and our children’s children—a world of freedom and justice for all.
Yes, King’s voice was silenced by an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee; nevertheless, his vision and call for freedom and justice can never be silenced.
At each commemoration, we are called to carry the torch of King’s dream. His work is not finish. The struggles for freedom continue. There is no time to bask with laurels of accomplishments.
There is still a long journey before us. We must be recharged at every step of the journey.
Millions of Americans— African Americans, West Indians, Latinos, Native Americans, Africans, Asians; men; women; senior citizens; youth and children are still living in poverty; low and inadequate educational attainment; lack of job training skills and access to employment.
Hence, we must continue the dream of Dr. King. Once we stop dreaming, we stop growing and will eventually die and not arrive on the mountaintop.
By commemorating King’s birth and all it entails with his accomplishments, we keep his dream alive. Yes, we salute Dr. King anew and we give God thanks for his gift to the world. Then we too come to our own self-consciousness that we are also God’s gift to the world.
Wherever we are planted, where we call home, make home the best place on earth. Parents have a responsibility to instill certain values in their children at home. And in so doing, they set the right example for their children to follow.
Remember that the home is the first school and parents are the first teachers. Home is where children learn lessons of obedience, respect, sharing, listening. In fact, reading begins at home at a very young age.
What if all the homes become learning and education centers, school dropouts would diminish, particularly in our inner-city schools and they would become centers of excellence. Let’s carry out Dr. King’s “I have a dream.”