I took the MLK holiday off today, as I do every year. Not just a day off from the day job, but a day spent remembering and honoring Dr. King. As we've done for the last several years, we went to the memorial at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Danny Glover was the keynote this year. Many people know him as an actor, but he's also an activist, philanthropist and humanitarian. While talking about Dr. King, he veered his remarks to Haiti and became visibly choked up. I guess we were all feeling the enormity of this last week: the Haitian earthquake leading into Dr. King's holiday. For me, it was all very resonant. I felt very moved by the New Life Tabernacle Choir's singing of "Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing" and "We Shall Overcome". And between those two songs, they also did the "Star Spangled Banner." It was a reminder to all that no group of people have had a more complicated relationship with this country than African Americans. Yes, we criticize it or call it to task when it falls short of its ideals, but I think it'd be difficult to find a group that has loved this country more. And, yes, it's strange to think that it was only 40-odd years ago that black folks were
fighting to secure the basic dignities that were supposedly afforded to
all by the Constitution.
Anyway, we spent about an hour yesterday looking at videos on YouTube of Dr. King with my son and daughter. I realized it's been a while since I saw the entire video of his speech in Washington. It takes you back in more ways than one. The good thing is that it provides an opportunity to connect the events of the past to the freedoms we all enjoy today. Dr. King is, without question, one of the giants on whose shoulders we all stand.
So, another King holiday draws to a close. If you're at all moved by this video, I urge you to take Dr. King's example and do some good in the world wherever you are.