Posted by: JennyRain | January 18, 2010

Two different Experiences

It amazes me how one event can be experienced so differently among the same nation of people.

Today is MLK, jr day.

For the last five years, I have experienced this day from within the confines of rural Georgia.

In Georgia, Martin Luther King, jr day is not just a “day” it is a “month” of events that culminate in the actual “day” dedicated to Martin Luther King, jr.

Typically, the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) begins running special interest stories several weeks out. Celebrations begin a couple of weeks out and the city of Atlanta engages in a variety of events that people can participate in to learn more about the inspirational preacher and civil-rights leader.

Whether you turn on your television, pick up the AJC or any of the rural newspapers, or look on a “what’s happening this week in Atlanta” website, the news of Martin Luther King, jr is right in front of you.

Georgians are very proud of MLK, jr and all that he accomplished for our nation in the fight against oppression.

This year I am back in Northern VA and it is MLK, jr day and I had to be reminded three times last week that we were approaching it.

There has been nothing on our local news. I’ve seen very little to anything in our papers.

Coverage has been close to nil on the Reverend Martin Luther King, jr.

Though I am fully cognizant of the fact that Reverend King has somewhat been usurped by the news in Haiti (and justifiably so… even the AJC has Haiti as the front-page headline), I am still saddened by the fact that to date, I have seen very little remembrance of this great man and leader.

I believe that many of us – me included – ascribe to the ignorant belief that claims “well, it’s not my experience, so my life will not be impacted by it, so why pay attention.”

My family is caucasian (mutts mostley – british, german, alsacian, french and a mix of english in there somewhere) yet my life has been profoundly impacted by the efforts of Dr. King.

What would my schooling have looked like if Dr. King had not fought so arduously for equality?

Would everyone in the workplace look just like me if Dr. King had not proclaimed his dream across Washington?

What about equality for women? Did not Dr. King’s message of the elimination of injustice and oppression not include us women too? I mean, our stories have been altered because Dr. King brought the injustice of inequality to light.

Globally – what if racism still permeated the existence of churches and corporations – would we be fighting so hard to end the ethnic cleansing in the Sudan? Would we be the voices for the invisible children in Uganga? Would we have even bothered to glance in the direction of the 100 days of terror in Rwanda?

All of our stories have been touched by Reverend King and our lives do not look the same as they might had God not given Dr. King his prophetic message to share.

Though I know in many areas have a long way to go to establish true equality, may we not forget the distance we have walked, crawled, fought, and occasionally run in our fight for justice.

So lest we in the Northern VA area forget Dr. King, I want to remind us of his dream. May his dream not die just because the news stations up north aren’t saying much about it today.

Thank you Dr. King for the legacy of hope that you have left us by sharing your dream.

 But let justice roll on like a river,
       righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5.24




  1. legacy of hope. 🙂

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