Letters to the Editor

MLK's vision of hope and inspiration

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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Dear Editor,

wwThis Black History Month, let us be reminded that the former veteran civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr inspired and provided hope for the black American people and, for that matter, African ancestors worldwide, when he spoke so eloquently and enthusiastically that, “I have a dream that one day on the Red Hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

With this inspiring hope, Martin Luther King Jr, and other organisers of the civil rights marches, were, however, astounded when more than 250,000 people from across the USA converged on the Washington Movement on August 28, 1963. These peaceful, cheerful demonstrators came from every walk of life including, farmers, labourers, students, lawyers, movie stars, clergy, black and white alike, for this non-violent demonstration held in Washington, DC.

King reminded the crowd that the black man was not free because he was crippled by segregation and isolated by poverty in a country consisting of immense material wealth.

As the crowd cheered and clapped he lashed out against the American Constitution, which had promised its citizens guaranteed rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which were not extended to the black population at the time.

Remarkably, he continued to outline its vision of justice and equality for everyone in the United States of America.

King, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as somebody who “had contributed the most to the furtherance of peace among men, said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The respected and charismatic leader also pointed out that “when there was freedom in every state and city the American people will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

Clearly, his militancy against the system of segregation must be revisited as his struggles become more relevant not only in the USA but in black nations throughout the world. Obviously, there are lots of signs these days in many black American communities and elsewhere, where the people are disgruntled with several controversial developments taking place.

When all is said and done, this Black History Month, and beyond, we should be used to recall that Dr Martin Luther King Jr, born on January 15, 1929, had hope that all races in the USA would have reconciled their differences going forward by now with unity, so as to achieve stability as a country.

Valentine Pearson





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