photo from jhs1968.com
Today is a special day for me...as a black woman born in America from parents who lived in the segregated south, and who now has the first black President as the leader of this great country...the seeds of which where planted back in the 50s when a young black man rose up to lead an extraordinary movement...Martin Luther King, Jr.
I know for some today is just an extra day off from work...or a day that's inconvenienced by the fact that the banks, post offices and government offices are closed. But for me today is just as special as Christmas or Easter (because of my religious affiliations) as a personal cultural day...because it is steeped in meaning.
I'm sure I've told this story before because whenever I think of Martin Luther King, Jr. this is what comes to mind...my mother and my aunt & uncle getting dressed in their Sunday best to go to the polls and vote for the very first time. My mother was in her late 20s...my aunt and uncle were older...and it was the very first time they could vote.
Now I know many people think that we as Black Americans have come a long way in such a short time...and I guess if you look at the fact that Barack Obama is President it seems so...but that was just 45 years ago...not a lifetime or even a generation ago...quite a few of you who read my ramblings weren't even born yet...or were only small children. This is an event that has clearly taken place in OUR lifetimes.
I ran across this article on The Buzz Log today...it gives such a clear understanding of the meaning and importance of this holiday. Please take a moment to read it and watch the video clip at the end...and realize that we've come far as a nation but we do have a little further to go. And then take another moment, a minute of silence if you will, and give thanks that we live in such a wonderful nation that can bring about such momentous change in our society by our people.
Also, if you haven't taken the time yet to give to the Haitian relief efforts, please do so! There are many places on the web that you can give, but The Red Cross is my organization of choice.
...as always, more later.