Monday, January 16, 2012

He Had a Dream: What is Yours? MLK Day 2012

I have to say, celebrating black history is something that I do often. I love reading about slavery, the reconstruction era, the jim crow, the civil rights, the harlem renaissance, all of that, in no particular order. But I don't know the basics. Had you asked me when I used to sing, what the verses were for "Lift Every Voice and Sing," I'd spit it out for you, no questions asked. These days, the words escape me, real bad...It is actually pretty ridiculous...

While in attending an MLK Jr Day event on Saturday, we started the day off getting through the Black Anthem. And boy was it a struggle...It went something like this "Lift every voice and sing, til Earth and Heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liiiiiiberty. Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies. Let it resound, loud as the opeeeen rolling sea.
Sing a song, full of the faith that the dark past has taught us. Sing a song, full of the hope that the presence has boooooooouuuuuuught us! Facing the rising sun, of a new day begun, Let us march on til victory is won..."

Thinking that would be well with the first first we sang, everyone stopped. Until.......One of the elders started to sing the second verse. It went down hill from there. She literally had to lead us through the song, as if we were the church choir and she the director (and we did not practice well in rehearsal 2 Saturdays ago). I was embarrassed. And it went something like this: "Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod, felt in the days when hope unborn had died. hmhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhmhm, hmmmmmhhmhmhmhm feet,Come to the place from which our father's died" (wrong word again I know, It was sad.) I mean, how could I (we) embarrass those who fought so hard for us to sing that song in public by not even knowing the song. And not to mention, it went like that for the rest of the song. The elders were very irritated at the younger generation. I don't blame them. So I made it my business to be sure to learn the song this year. In the meantime, that was just a big fat F.

Ok, real quick. MLK Jr made it clear that he had a dream for us. So many things have changed but so many things have stayed the same. In the year of 2011, I thought a dream I was shooting for would never come true. I went through a phase throughout the entire year thinking my dream would be just that, a dream. But right at the end of the year, I received some inspiration that reminded me that a dream is only a dream until steps are taken to make it a reality. Until then, it will just be a should have, could have, would have, situation. And so it is, I refuse to go through 2012 with the same lackadaisical attitude that I had before. My dreams will come true when I start making moves for them, not when time decides it is ready for me to move.

With that being said as you go throughout the year pursuing your dreams, remember that Dr. King had a dream for us and in the state the black community is in right now, he wouldn't be proud. So in 2012, make it your business to reach back and make sure there is someone you take under your wing and keep the dream alive in them. This is the only way the dream will live on.

What did you do to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy this year?

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