Monday, January 19, 2009

Let Freedom Ring!


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

Today, as we anticipate the inauguration of Barack Obama, we stop to honor Dr. Martin Luther King. When searching for images of him, I ran across a wonderful photo essay from Time combining photographs of Dr. King along with his powerful words. To view them, click here:

What would Dr. King would be thinking if he were alive today? I can only imagine. It seems impossible that blatant discrimination against Blacks occurred so recently in our history. Today it's more subtle but still exists in my view. This nation took a giant leap towards being a better nation and restoring our reputation in the world by electing Barack Obama.

But it's more than that. Yes, many voted for the man because he's Black and some undoubtedly would not vote for him for the very same reason. I choose to believe most people voted for him because he was the very best candidate. Is it possible we're finally becoming color blind? Yes we are!

Seeing the images and reading Dr. King's words brought home the awesomeness of what is going to occur tomorrow, when we inaugurate our first African American President. Below is a bit of MLK's eloquence. (Please note some of the quotes are cut off on the right. My apologies. Blogger would not let me change them in any way. ) ( To view everything in its proper light, click on the site linked above.

ON BLACKS IN AMERICA (From Birmingham jail, 1963): "Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched across the pages of history the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence, we were here. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands."

ON THE DREAM OF FREEDOM (1963): "So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed . . . that all men are created equal. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true."

ON FREEDOM (1963): "So let freedom ring. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, let freedom ring. But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. And when this happens, when we let it ring, we will speed that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last, free at last/Thank God Almighty, we're free at last."

ON HIS OWN FUTURE (April 3, 1968): "We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. I won't mind. 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. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. "

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