By Roy Douglas Malonson
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Recently, I sat and thought on the ending of the last sermon Dr. King preached in Memphis, Tennessee, just a day before he was assassinated in 1968. My mind went on a 50-year journey, reflecting back on all of the changes, we Africans living in America have experienced over the years.
No one will ever really know if Dr. King’s prophetic words that day before were a mere glimpse of what he knew would take place the very next day. However, we do know that many of the prophesies he had previously spoken of did come to pass. Even still, though fifty years has brought about a lot of change in many ways, in other ways some things still remain the same. As a matter of fact, some things have gotten a lot worst, as others have been bandaged to appear as a healing point in history that has not truly come.
Just recently, me and some of my classmates celebrated our 50th Class Reunion from George Washington Carver High School. Thinking back to that time in history when we attended school, really showed me how fortunate we were to live in a segregated society back then. Of course, there were many who wanted to experience living in an integrated society; but, the truth is we did not inherit equal rights just because integration came on the scene.
We MUST Understand even though we were separated from everyone else, we didn’t have equal rights and right now today, in 2018 we live in an integrated society and still do not have equal rights.
Over the course of fifty years, I have saw the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and various other martyrs who have died for varying causes; I have witnessed the first man to go to the moon, I lived through segregation to see integration measures commence and have also been able to see the election of the first “acknowledged”African-American president in the White House – who was the most disrespected POTUS the country ever seen.
But, even through all of those changes Black folks have yet to secure equality. We MUST Understand Blacks in the U.S. are the most overworked, yet, underpaid and unappreciated race of people in this nation; and yet we still are screaming from the mountaintop, that #BlackLivesMatter. So again, I ask, ‘How far have We Really Come’?’