In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
African American Inspiration
Moving On Despite All Odds
If you can't fly then run, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward, said Martin Luther King Jr. in one of his most memorable quotes. What this middle-born son of a preacher and dedicated soldier of God and humanity did with his strong leadership abilities, education and faith inspire me during my own struggles as an African American woman in the modern world. The reason I chose him as the Black American I wanted to honor this month is despite all the obstacles he endured three strong character traits helped him persevere and act as a beacon of light for others. They are his ability to lead as a result of an excellent education, his adherence to the philosophy that class and status don't determine a person's worth and his powerful public speaking skills that both moved and motivated others to action.
Dr. King's Early Years: We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.--Martin Luther King Jr.
From his early days in high school at Booker T. Washington High School, in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia he proved he had a superior intellect by skipping the ninth and eleventh grades and starting Morehouse College at 15 years old. While reading about him, on www.biography.com, I couldn't help admiring his intellectual tenacity in the face of intense societal racism. As I continue to face the hatred he faced everyday, from Hispanics and others, who try to bring me down with insults about my stylish appearance and refusal to be an inferior stereotype I feel more connected to him and the road he was on.
Passing On Empathy: Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.--Martin Luther King Jr.
Raised in a strict religious household the most important lesson his father, a fellow preacher, taught him was "to disregard any sense of class superiority". Martin Luther King Jr. later adopted Indira Ghandi's philosophy of non-violent protest, which is most eloquently expressed in his quote Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?".Whenever I help students as a Special Ed Assistant for LAUSD or readers as a professional fashion/feature writer, this trait for empathy arises, and I feel as Dr. King did that everyone deserves my respect despite our differences, as I deserve their's in return.
Lastly, for his quote We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose finite hope to other quotes such as We have no alternative to protest for the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, he used a character trait I most admire-the ability to change others by saying words that needed to be said at a time when they needed to be said.
Passing On The Dream: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
From organizing the boycott to delivering his I Have A Dream speech at the March on Washington ceremony on August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy proves we can all serve our culture, the human race, and our world by utilizing our individual strengths, gifts and skills for the good of all. As I take pride in the strides I've made, against diversity and dissension, I will be eternally grateful for his leadership and guidance in helping me create my own African American legacy.
Great Words Describe A Great Man
Celebrating Black History
What do you like about celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday and Black History Month?
An Artistic Culture
This is a museum that regularly features art by African American artists. Their current exhibit is "And Still We Rise".