Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MLK Holiday: From a Baby Boomer's Perspective

Ever since 1986, the third Monday in January has been set aside to honor the birthday and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Some of us celebrate his legacy by attending a prayer breakfast, luncheon or other festive event. We reflect on the famous “I have a Dream” speech. Some still remember and share their own personal accounts of the civil rights struggle. Then there are some of us who do nothing but enjoy a day off from work.

What category did you fall into on this particular third Monday in January?

It’s all well and good to celebrate the life of a great man but what happens the day AFTER the MLK Holiday? Did you wake up and hear the “let freedom ring” bells ringing in your community? Can you say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all men (and women) are treated equally on your job? If someone were to judge you by the content of your character, what would your sentence be? How many little black boys and little black girls have you seen walking hand-in-hand, side-by-side with little white girls and little white boys ANYWHERE? Did you go out in the world and make a difference by helping someone else or taking a stand against an injustice?

What are we really celebrating 40 years later?

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