Seldom do we experience the presence of a great soul. Martin Luther King Jr. was born to do God's work of righting societal wrongs through nonviolent activism. He inspired millions, gave hope to millions, and in the end, though he died knowing that he could be killed any day of the week because of those who would do such things, he kept on. His soul was on fire. A great leader among many other great Negro leaders who formed a collective whose efforts really did create upliftment and social change for the betterment of this nation and its people, his vision became global. He understood the consequences for all of humanity, for all living beings, if humanity did not change its ways. He spoke out, fervently, appropriately, about the three evils: racism, poverty and militarism. This was a dangerous thing to do. But he was a man of unfathomable courage. A man of great intellect and eloquence, his words ring as true today as they ever did. Last night I watched a video of Harry Belafonte speaking about their conversation five days before Dr. King's assassination. Belafonte said that Dr. King was in a state of despair. Reluctant to speak, he finally shared, at Belafonte's urging, that he feared that "we are integrating into a house that is burning".
If you choose to read one book, I recommend Testament of Hope, the Essential Writings and Speeches, Martin Luther King Jr. This is a compilation of his famous speeches and books. Everything you could want is contained within this book. Buy it from The King Center bookstore: thekingcenter.myshopify.com. While you're at it, buy My Life, My love, My Legacy, by Coretta Scott King. A power in her own right, her story complements Dr. King's.
Today is a day of reflection and honoring. May we all choose to be creators of The Beloved Community-the realistic vision for global peace that Dr. and Mrs. King envisioned. They have provided the guidebook with strategies to make such a world possible. It is up to us to show up to do just that.
(c) Barbara J. Woolley, author, Monday, January 15, 2024. Please do share with others, but do so in this writing's entirety. If you would like to comment, you may do so by writing to me at email@example.com.