Saturday, January 15, 2011

We Celebrate You Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Join me in celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., born January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. King skipped both the ninth and the twelfth grade entering Morehouse College at the age of 15. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary. Dr. King Jr. then received his Doctor of Philosophy from Boston University with a dissertation on " A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman."

In 1953, ( June 18th to be exact) Dr. King met and married the love of his life, Coretta Scott King who gave birth to 4 beautiful children - Yolanda, Martin Luther III, Dexter and Bernice.

In 1957, Dr.King Jr., and his life long friend and colleague, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The group was created to harness the moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the service of civil rights reform. The two men were the anchors that challenged the "Jim Crow" Segregation Laws. of the south, working shoulder to shoulder co-founding the American Civil Rights Movement and organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott that was very successful. By challenging, non-violently the segregated busing system in Montgomery, Alabama, which spearheaded a 381 day boycott, the state of Alabama soon ended the segregation of people of color on their public transportation / buses. Dr. King Jr. led the SCLC until his death.

In 1959, with the assistance of the Quaker Group and The American Friends Service Committee, Dr. King Jr. Visited India "Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a real sense, Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation."

In 1964, Dr. King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means.

Dr. King gave many moving speeches over the years. His " I Have a Dream" speech is a classic example of what we as people, regardless of race, creed or color should strive for.

The "Drum Major Instinct" Sermon is one of my personal favorites. the scriptural reference is taken from the Bible - Mark 10:35-40, 42-44. (NIV) This particular speech showed Dr. King Jr.'s humility and strong faith in God when he spoke these eloquent words:
"I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."

On April 4, 1968 someone pulled a trigger of a gun, violently ending the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., leaving his wife a widow and his 4 children, fatherless.

His legacy and Dreams of a better, stronger, united America lives on. Look in the mirror and tell me, what are you doing to keep Dr. King Jr.'s Dream Alive?

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