Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Monday

Wearing A Crown of Service

As we take a day to remember the journey and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, let us fully
understand that his life was dedicated to be of service for his fellowman. He collaborated and partnered with a kaleidoscope of activist and advocates in a non violent manner to hold up a mirror to America while stating that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Although much has transpired since his stirring Lincoln Memorial speech, to this day this nation is still grappling with glaring social injustices allowing their to be inequities steeped in the unequal distribution of wealth, racism, ageism, and sexism, economic inequality in which living wages are demonized, poor immigration policies which has allowed families to live in fear and embattled with a system that needs dire attention. Not to mention our national debt and political dysfunction.

Would King be happy with our current state? I believe that he would be deeply troubled and disturbed to his core at the level of Black on Black crime, continuing poverty, inner city blight and the constant drumbeat of war across the globe. Furthermore, I feel confident that he would abhor the epidemic of fatherless son's in the Black community which statistics supports demonstrates how this condition is resulting in fueling the pipeline to prison. Currently their are 24 Million children in American households without fathers.

He as I am dismayed that "thug" persona's and misogynistic lyrics that berate and denigrate women are being listened to as entertainment as if it doesn't matter. I cringe as I continue to learn how reaching for stardom or easy money is the order of the day for the young set even though I know that honest work complete with managing your resources can give you a quality of life. I think King would be perplexed to the fact that HIV and AIDS is still a present and clear danger among young Black men from 13-24 after three decades of intervention and prevention.

Yet despite those facts, King would be profoundly proud of the election of President Obama as well as the strides that have been achieved by many notables such as mega businessman Ervin Magic Johnson to trailblazers like Lavern Cox who has defied the notion that trans women of color will continue to be unseen or unheard citizens.

As a high school student I fondly remember my early years of developing my "social justice" junkie attitude. As the News Editor of our school paper The Constitution, I asked our sponsor to devote our supplement to the school paper entitled "The Amendment," to recognize Black History Month with profiles about both historical and then current popular Black people. Little did I know that producing that tabloid was not only a first but would get the attention of John H. Johnson of the Ebony publishing empire.I still revere a letter that Mr. Johnson sent to me commending me on the project as well as our feature of him in it.

Although Mr. Johnson has long since passed, that moment still reigns supreme to me to this day, just as remembering that King's clarion call of people to be of service fuels my daily walk. I'm somewhat annoyed at all the "King Day" sales or other marketing tie in's that evoke his namesake as a gimmicks that speak little to what he actually stood for.

I encourage any and all who may read this post, take a moment to stop and mediate on what you can do either volunteer, make a donation to a charity or cause of your choice, do a random act of kindness, or make a move to empower the powerless. In closing, "an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to broader concerns of all humanity."


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