I am thankful for those who came before me. Those who fought for our rights and equality. As I reflect on this MLK holiday, I can’t help but think about the current state of our nation and how much division there is. How did we get here, and how do we work towards unity?
When I think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I think of hope, love, peace, and the future. I think about my kids and the life they are currently living in and what that life will look like ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty years from now. I also often think about our current leaders. Dr. King was the epitome of what excellent leadership looks like. He knew how to motivate and inspire people to persevere for better. When watching his speeches and analyzing his rhetoric, he spoke with such power and with great diction. He had a way with words and a way with people. What leaders do we have today that comes even close to what Dr. King was?
One person who comes to mind is former President Barack Obama, who became the first African American president in 2008. When he won the election, I remember thinking of Dr. King, hope, peace, and unity. I thought about progress and how far we have come as a Black race. Outside of the “I Have a Dream” speech, “A More Perfect Union,” is one of my favorite speeches by Barack Obama. The speech was given during his campaign and was written with Dr. King in mind and with the goal to continue his legacy, and his fight for equality. He said, “This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring, and more prosperous America.”
It has been years since the death of Dr. King, but his vision, his dream still carries on from generation to generation. He further states, “I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.” At the end of the day, regardless of race, economic status, political affiliation, etc., we all have hopes and dreams, and the want for a better world. Not only for us but for our children, grandchildren, and their children. It is a cycle that keeps going, but we need a cycle that is safe, peaceful, and unified. “A more perfect union” is possible, but it will take all of us working together and keeping the dream alive.
Photo Credit: Christian Camato