I hate to admit but, as an adult, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to and read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in its entirety. Until today. Of course since being out of school I’ve seen and heard snippets but I never sat down to watch and read the nearly 17-minute speech from beginning to end at a time when I could really comprehend the words.
I can’t think of a more meaningful time and place to do that than now. I am in my hotel room a few blocks from the Lincoln Memorial where King spoke his historic words in 1963. It is the eve of President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural address and the day we honor King.
What would King think? Obama is the best testament that King’s dream has been realized in so many ways but in other ways there is still such a long path ahead. While we can stay at any hotel and motel that we can afford, police brutality against blacks still goes on. We still live in ghettos, which of course I see every day living in Harlem. There are still voting irregularities that take place but seldom make news. And there are still, and will always be, ignorant people out there who refuse to see all races as equal. That’s not to put the blame on others. There is so much more us blacks can do as well when it comes to how we live our lives and being responsible for our actions. Obama is a hell of an accomplishment but the dream is not yet fulfilled.