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Remembering The Past To Inspire A Way Forward

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” – Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr. grasped onto those stones of hope and built a path forward for those he left behind after he was tragically assassinated on April 4, 1968. As we journey to make this world a little better than we left it, we cannot forget those before us who paid the ultimate sacrifice for equality and freedom. In today’s blog, we reflect on the past to help inspire a vision on a way forward.

REMEMBERING SELMA

Today my family and I watched the movieAfrican Americans to vote without extreme intimidation and hurdles. We read historical records as we watched to separate the creative licenses from fact. As we did, we watched in horror as the events from our not so distant past were reenacted before us. However, we also watched Martin Luther King and the many people, like John Lewis, who rose up despite being dehumanized, beaten, and even murdered, like Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was a catalyst for the continued voting rights effort.

Because of the efforts of the collective in Alabama and those who descended on Alabama to march in solidarity, the president at the time, Lyndon B. Johnson, signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

HOPE IS A REMINDER AWAY

When I analyze my fears, hesitation, and problems in comparison to my ancestors before me, I’m confronted with a heavy guilt. The guilt lies in my fear and the belief that I’m unable to do hard things. However, hope is just a reminder away. The above reflection and overall legacy MLK reminds us that gaining what we desire in our hearts demands tenacity, strength, and courage. Sure, there were times King was probably afraid and unsure. However, he didn’t acquiesce to that uncertainty and fear. He let it move him forward; thus propelling a movement that affords me a life that I wouldn’t have been able to imagine.

REALIZING A PATH FORWARD

However, there is more work to do. If we all can reach within ourselves to just search for an ounce of his and those a part of the movement’s courage, we can also inspire change. In my opinion, the day off of work, the books and movies on his life, and this very post, does not solely sustain his legacy. It is honoring all of the above in memory while also going out into the world to fight for the ongoing struggle for human rights and equity.

If each one of us can grasp the tiniest stone of hope like Martin Luther King, together we can build mountains. 

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