As we move into King Week, I must ask that we make sure we don’t just get caught up in the holiday festivities. Let’s not just celebrate having a day off from work or a day off from school to go down to MLK Blvd. and enjoy the Kingdom Day Parade. Let’s not get all dressed up and go to the SCLC Dinner and not reflect on what the day really is all about (particularly for African Americans).
In Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech, he talked about a world where we are all men/women created equal, where little Black children and little White children could grow up together in harmony. A world where a man is judged not by the color of his skin but the content of his character.
Well my friends, we are at a crossroads in America today. We are at a place where God willing, Senator Barak Obama just might be elected president of these United States of America. That truly will be a demonstration of a man being judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.
I say that to you all with hope for a better today for us all, but at the same time I see hope, I see despair. I see the prejudice of Jena 6, I see the lack of quality education, lack of jobs and services. I see many of the terrible things that Martin Luther King saw way back in the 1950s and 60s. I see unemployment at an all time high, I see security officers working without the benefit of a contract, without the benefit of quality healthcare and on and on. I see violence in our community, and I see a lack of common decency.
I also see an apathy about getting involved, about making sure that not only you, but everyone in your household goes out and votes. Voting is probably the single most important issue Dr. King ever took on. It was only through the power of voting that all of our other victories came to pass.
If we did not have the power to vote, we would still not be able to eat at lunch counters, we would still be on the back of the bus and we certainly would not be able to work or even enter anyplace we felt we could. In fact a friend of mine just reminded me that we would not even be able to be buried in the same location as White soldiers when they brought our family members back from Iraq.
So in honor of Dr. King lets all be involved. If nothing else let’s make sure we vote, but let’s also do more. Let’s make sure our family gets involved, make sure our children understand the importance of voting and being involved in our community. Explain to your children about our history, the history of our people and the history of our struggles and our victories. On Monday, go to the parade, but also go to the California African American Museum (CAAM), go and take some clothes and or money to the Jenessee Center for Battered Women, SCLC, The Brotherhood Crusade, The NAACP or any other community program or church you support and believe in. Just Get Involved, don’t just support the dream, live the dream.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor