“This Is Our Hope.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)

Most people never met Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but they have seen his legacy at work. From the marches during the Civil Rights Movement – 1950s until his death in April 1968 – fighting to end segregation of African Americans in our nation’s school system, to creating the Civil Rights Act in 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and much more!

As a nation we have been blessed by the vision of men and women like Martin Luther King, Jr. They have showed us that people of different races, cultures, and traditions have enriched our lives. We live in a beautiful tapestry of rich colors – black, white, red, yellow, green, purples and the list goes on forever. The colors show us a picture that we would not see if they were not there. That’s the way it is in America; our colors, diversity and visions make us stronger and hopeful as we look to the future.

I did not grow up in a diverse environment. Everyone was white. But even in that community there were

whispers about the Jews and Catholics, whispers about the poor and disenfranchised. I thought this is what the world looked liked – white. Then my family moved to Eastern Tennessee; a state in the south where reality looked very different. Cultures, traditions, even language was different. The school system had children from so many different backgrounds. It’s impossible to have a class of middle school students over 1,000 per class and not have diversity.

When I went to college there was great diversity in both my undergraduate and graduate work. So many new ideas, thoughts, struggles, and view points. I really feel enriched and blessed for those days.

The following is a part of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech “I Have A Dream” that resonates with my soul. Read, then ask yourself what is my dream for this nation of great power and wealth?

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963, “I Have A Dream:”

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream … I have a dream that one day in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

“I have a dream today … I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain, and crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope.” (If you are interested in reading the whole speech, search Martin Luther King, Jr. on the internet.)

I have a Dream also. I have hope that one day my grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and future great-greats will live in a country rich in diversity, color, cultures and traditions. Thank you, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for your wisdom and hope for the country we both love.

Today, do something that challenges you, Linda

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