WASHINGTON — More than 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “l Have a Dream” speech, many African-Americans in our nation are still dreaming of King’s equal nation. The reality is that while many blacks are living King’s dream of equality and fair treatment, many are not. While Dr. King is remembered for many things, his commitment to service stands out. If anything is to be remembered about King, it should be that “everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”
“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.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2016, many young Black males still live in poverty in communities filled with drug dealers and crack addicts. A large number of these young men will not live to see their 30th birthday as random acts of brutality claim young lives. Sadly, many of them can name more correctional facilities than institutions of higher learning. The students in these communities still are not adequately prepared to pursue an education and men and women in these communities have lost hope for a change to a brighter future.
While the United States pauses for one day, we should recommit itself to improving our communities everywhere; not just for one day in January, but throughout the year. Poverty, violence and ignorance will never end if our collective work ceases after the holiday. Let this MLK Holiday be the beginning of service and fresh commitment to improving communities in this country, and maybe King’s dream can materialize sooner rather than later.