Because of the dismal and violent state of Black America, one would be led to assume and possibly believe that the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a more peaceful and equal America died with him 45 years ago.
To some, this viewpoint may seem pessimistic. However, it is difficult for one to be an optimist when bombarded with negative news reports that would suggest that, as a culture, the majority of African Americans see no value in those just like us.
As if by design, we have become the greatest contributors to our failure as a community. We target those who were raised in the same neighborhoods and educated in the same schools, and some we considered friends during our adolescence.
Many women are content with being dependent on “the system,” satisfied with mediocrity, and considered nothing more than the mother of children who will be raised in a home where the father is absent.
The Pages of Opinion invite readers to help narrate the importance of Black History Month through the prism of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The Blade has received dozens of pictures, poems, and essays. Here are excerpts; more submissions are at toledoblade.com/we-have-a-dream.
Our men are angry and deemed uncontrollable; they are feared because of cultural differences and misunderstandings. Like animals, most of them have a “survival of the deadliest” mentality, claiming to have no fear of death and learning no lessons from the demise of those surrounding them.
Our communities are plagued with drugs, violence, and abuse, yet every February it becomes socially “important” for us to reflect on history and remind the hopeless to keep hope alive.
I am too much of a realist to believe in historic flights of fantasy. I treasure and revere history; I understand that it is most important to learn from it. However, I also understand that the only thing that comes to dreamers is an abundance of dreams. Without action, those same dreams become irrelevant.
Am I saying Reverend King’s dream was irrelevant? Of course not. His dream and efforts were amazing. His mission, however, was cut short by the same violence he protested.
Therefore, his dream was never seen in fullness by his eyes, and we have not yet seen it fulfilled. I too have a dream of peace, equality, and prosperity for all people.
However, to build up black communities, one has to put action and effort into making those dreams a reality. Until we do, nothing will change.
And every February, we will be forced to remember slavery, underground railroads, and a dream that may never come true.
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