It would appear we are in the midst of some brand new turbulent times. Remember when you were younger you would say things like, “If I lived in the days of slavery I would – all manner of things to keep from being a slave like, “Whoop the master’s ass” and tying him to a tree, or there is no way I would ever take orders from a Cracker! Interesting, Black folk are beaten every day with the whip of exclusion, hung weekly by inadequate pay for work and segregated in the hallways of Education. With this new vision of #Trumpdedum the smell of fear is raging battle.
How far have we come since the Martin Luther King, Jr., did we ever reach the mountain top; or were we like Jack and Jill with our empty pails going uphill with the expectation that White America would fill them, only to break our crown and go tumbling back down?
August 28, 1963, I was but a child – shielded from the woes of this world. It would be years later before I would learn of this man known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his determination to set a race of people free from “lock up.” Martin gave his speech, and I will try with earnest determination to understand it in my world today taking nothing away from the time in which it was delivered. My hope is that I will find “hope” in the recklessness of today’s world with the words of yesterday.
Martin spoke of a “…beacon of light..” as hope for millions of Negro Slaves, the Emancipation Proclamation which was issued twice by the President Abraham Lincoln. The first time it declared that if the Southern States did not cease their rebellion by January 1863, the Proclamation would go into effect – they did not and hence he issued the final Proclamation. Note: The Proclamation was only applicable to the states in rebellion, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The interesting part is the five border states did not abolish slavery but because they were not in rebellion the Proclamation did not pertain to them.
Slave Holding Areas Not Covered – Blue
With an entire history lesson the pros and cons of the Proclamation, the question remains, what is the definition of freedom?
Martin spoke of the chains that were never loosed such as segregation and discrimination. Surely we are no longer residing on Poverty Island (at least not in the large numbers of the late sixties. Have we remained crippled by that aid of the Government under the commonly known programs as Medicaid and Food Stamps? I clearly remember women have babies simply because the more they had, the more funding they received. Did we fall back down the hill or when some of us rose to the top did we not think to go back down and help Jack and Jill to rise with us? In that sense have we formulated a new segregation within our community!
Martin said “…we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note…” If the above statement was true in 1963, then what a sad state of affairs if we as a people are still reaching for the teller to cash our check. Five decades later if we have not come together and created our own system then we deserve to receive a bounced check.
“Coming together”, is a phrase that apparently needs to be re-defined. In this writer’s opinion, the coming together is not merely about any particular group forming to help a small population of underprivileged children it quite a bit more than that. It requires that support as well as a change in the thinking of Jack and Jill’s ideology – they that have made it to the top of the mountain. For example, often groups of “Achievers” hold their annual gala for all the work they have accomplished and the funds they have raised and the expectation of exceeding last year’s numbers. Why is that Dante and Shaniqua are never invited to the “Gala” in which they were recipients or prospective recipients of said funding?
We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
Why has the segregation of “Great Work” dinners been segregated to only those who can (1) afford to go and (2) not those that are in need of the funds? What if the Mountain Dwellers lowered their standards and decided to denounce the present false teachings of each one teach one. Just maybe it would be a catalyst in decreasing the number of babies born out of wedlock because our young black women might be inspired to do something other than the status quo. The over-incarceration of the drug dealers might decrease if our young black men had an opportunity to be taught by other strong black men – why manners were important and the need to understand the order of equations.
If a person’s world consists only of what they can touch and see and they see that they are not ever going to touch or see the Mountain – then I am sorry to say, Martin – You Still Have Just a Dream.