As I planned out my blog post for the month of January, this particular blog post was at the top of my list. But, I must admit that I struggled with exactly what I would say. I wanted to make sure that what I wrote truly conveyed my feelings and did the subject justice.
As a child being introduced to Black History, I remember being in awe of Dr. King, his message, his diplomacy, his grace in the face of adverse conditions, and mostly his commitment. I devoured anything that I could find and read about the Civil RIghts Movement and not just about Dr. King, but Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson (to name a few). I have always felt connected to Dr. King on a personal level. Because, his legacy to me, lies in more than just the civil rights movement. It lies in the personal struggle and sacrifice, that both he and his family made for the future of a nation. I am reverenced by the very thought of it.
As a mother, and a wife, I can’t quite wrap my head around the bravery that it must have taken for Dr. King and others who participated in the movement, to leave their families and walk straight into what could ultimately be their last day on earth, over and over again. I cant imagine the state of sheer panic, that their families felt everyday. But, I assume that it would be something similar to what military spouses or the families of first responders experience. I think that is why I have always had such respect for Coretta Scott King and others widowed by the cause, because I can only imagine the magnitude of loss that they suffered in the name of FREEDOM.
I often use the word humbled to describe the emotion that washes over me, when I take the time to sit down and fully grasp the fact that so many died so that we could LIVE. If I am being totally honest, I am not sure that I could have made that kind of sacrifice, for people that I didn’t know, for people who didn’t support me, or even for people who were angered by the fact that I wanted more for them. And, it always propels me toward the fact that their behavior can be described as nothing less than Christ-like. Not because they were perfect or without sin or flaws. But, because they, like Christ, died so that we could have life and have it more abundantly.(John 10:10) What an Awesome Gift!!
So, when I think of MLK Jr. Day, I don’t think of it as just anther 3 day weekend. I don’t think of it as being just about ONE man and his legacy and his dream. But, for me, it’s a day to celebrate, acknowledge and honor the sacrifices that were made in the name of Progressive Change. What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you?