Monday, June 5, 2017

Martin Luther King is more than his "I Have a Dream" speech

One of these men was 5'7" - the other was President
Quick: what was the age of Martin Luther King when he was assassinated? Simple question - one that can easily be sourced via Google or any other search engine.

The answer might surprise you. Once you know, keep it in mind. So that when his name comes up in conversation you can remind others of the incredible work this man engaged in during his youth.

Yes, his youth.

Most everyone who knows the King name is familiar with his dreams of peace and unity. But he was younger than most think. And in terms of legacy, I suspect there are generations of people (young and old) who are barely (if at all) aware that he stood for so much more. And that he took action in the name of all who are vulnerable - no matter their identity (race, gender, ability, social class, etc.).

See the short commentary by Michael Eric Dyson on the whitewashing of Dr. King's legacy.

King was arrested upwards of 20 times and assaulted at least four times. His home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, and through all this, he emerged as this nation's premiere civil rights leader.

Click to see/read Michael Eric Dyson's take
And let's keep it real: yes, he was a person who was flawed and made mistakes. But that only proves he's human - like the rest of us.

He emerged on the world stage while in his 20s. A young black man influencing American culture. At the age of 35, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He spoke truth to power. Just a few short years later, he made the ultimate sacrifice.

Please, whenever his name comes up (and not just during the national holiday in his name), share Dr. King's age when he was killed. The goal? To remind everyone, young and old, what can be accomplished (and what is being achieved) by folks of all ages. And that there are young bloods out there who are putting their own lives on the line in the name of social justice. It's happening today. We just have to recognize...

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