At a time when our nation is reeling from both a pandemic and the chaos of unbridled hatred shamefully fomented by the outgoing president of our nation, we are fortunate to be lifted by Reverend Martin Luther King , a man of peace and dignity whose words always ring with clarity and compassion.
When I see the malicious devastation caused by the riots on the Capitol, I remember the violence that Dr King, his compatriot John Lewis and hundreds of civil rights activists endured because of the sheer inhumanity of man to the ‘man. The hatred displayed on Capitol Hill is paltry compared to that exercised during the Civil Rights Movement, but the images of the Confederate Flag in Hallowed Democracy Halls and a nearby gallows are a shock to the system and bring back bad memories to many. .
Dr. King’s vacation is synonymous with peace and celebration. It’s a well-deserved break from the madness. It is about continuing the work by opening a path to true freedom. We have a lot to appreciate. We have helped put in place a new administration committed to supporting the ongoing struggle for justice and fairness in our country. We are about to welcome the first Woman of Color as Vice President.
It’s time to get down to business.
On that day, I’m just going to let “this little light of mine” shine and I hope you do the same, grateful for the much-needed ray of hope for a better America yet expressed by Dr. King.
I’ve felt the spirits of Dr King and Congressman Lewis for months now, most clearly in the historic victories in Georgia by two new Senators – Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff – who ran at the same pace. It reminded me of the black-Jewish partnership during the civil rights era. Rabbi Abraham Herschel and other members of the community were always by Dr King’s side, Jewish volunteers on the buses stood in tandem with Dr King, and more than one paid the ultimate price.
Dr King would be proud of the success of the black men and women who serve this country as lawmakers. There weren’t many when he walked this earth. Black women have always done a Yeoman job in the civil rights movement. Rosa Parks comes to mind most easily. Today, I consider Stacey Abrams to be a true heroine. She didn’t get angry when she lost Georgia’s governor race, instead, she took revenge by overhauling that state’s political infrastructure, tackling voter suppression, and paving the way for Democratic victories.
Indeed, Dr King looks down on his friend John Lewis, proud of the accomplishments we have made so far, even though he knows there is still a lot of work to be done. Our black men are still slaughtered in the streets and the road to justice stretches far ahead. But there is no doubt that we will reach the top of the mountain and overcome it.
Happy birthday, Dr King.
Joyce Ferriabough Bolling is a media and political strategist and communications specialist.