I visited Philadelphia this summer during Independence Day and took a ride aboard one of those historic city tours. One of the funniest things I remember from that ride was when in Philadelphia, the answer is almost, always Benjamin Franklin.
For many, the answer to most black history questions is, Martin Luther King, Jr; correct or incorrect. If you don’t know anything about Black History, you’ve most likely heard or studied the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr. His life’s story has inspired innumerable books, tributes, scholarships, and a national holiday. So, there is no doubt, you’ve probably heard his name.
In the news lately, critics have blasted local party promoters in Michigan who have applied some Photoshop work to make Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appear cooler than he already is. But, here’s the thing, Dr. King is transcendent.
“For me, as his daughter, it’s like ‘wow’, I lost a father who sacrificed everything for them to live a much more dignified and respectful life, and for it to come to this makes me sad,” Bernice King said in an interview with FOX 5 Atlanta.
On the other hand, this is not the first time, Dr. King’s image has been found in questionable view in recent current events. Artist, Nikkolas Smith depicted King in a hoodie in response to the tragedy of the Trayvon Martin shooting. People felt it showed Dr. King in a less than favorable light as well. Some have also looked at his work as an artistic approach to question King’s stance in the Martin case.
Dr. King and many of the men and women whose shoulders he rested upon to push the agenda for civil rights forward deserve more respect. Who’s to blame for this generation’s misguided understanding of what King Day is truly about? Countless school assemblies and book reports and this is what King has been reduced to.
Dr. King lived a short, yet dignified and action-oriented life. So, in the last 30 years that’s exactly what we should have been teaching the youth about King; to do something. ‘The Dream’ lives on in future generations. It’s in what we teach and in what we do. More work must be done, if this is what King represents in the minds of today’s generation of youth.
If you’re interested in learning about opportunities to give back to your community, visit: http://mlkday.gov/