MLK DAY: The Story of a Symbolic Celebration

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his I Have a Dream speech to huge crowd gathered for the Mall in Washington DC during the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom (aka the Freedom March). (Photo by Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

As we take time out to celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday it’s important that we focus on the facts and not the narrative that was created by the dominant white society. One of the biggest issues with the holiday is it focuses on the ideology and sentiments behind the now famous “I Have a Dream Speech” given by Dr. King on August 28th, 1963.

As I write this in 2018, I struggle to find any tangible evidence that we are any closer to a racially equal society than we were in 1963. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s true. The mere fact that we have a few successful melanated men and women who have penetrated white society and carved out a place amongst the elite doesn’t equate to progress for the remaining 30 + million melanated men and women in this country.

So, unfortunately, instead of this holiday representing a dream achieved, at this point it is more like a dream deferred. Although I admire Dr. King’s courage and patience in the face of racial injustices and segregation, the real reason he died is never spoken about in the mass media.  After years of attempting to integrate melanated people into white society, Dr. King finally realized that our issues were more economic than anything else.

Dr. King was quoted as saying “We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I’ve come to believe we are intergrading into a burning house.” The video below highlights Dr. Kings revised mentality towards our struggle. Some say this sermon ultimately cost him his life. 


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