MLKThe 1960s were part of an era when men and women would stand in front of a live audience and speak words that could inspire others to action. It was a time before sound bites came in 30-second doses and left our consciousness even quicker. The March on Washington received little fanfare in the days leading up to August 28, 1963, the day after; every newspaper in the country carried the story under the front-page headline banner.

Right from the very beginning, Dr. King remarked how one hundred years passed since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and still “the Negro was still not free.” Now, another 50 years have gone and we continue to contemplate whether the dream of equality and justice has been fully realized. It has been a long and wearisome journey, the road seems to never end and the movement is glacially slow. Today people of all races play together, work together; live, love and pray together. The progresses we have made are obvious and undeniable, but it feels as if we still have a ways to go. Every time an incident such as the Trayvon Martin shooting, we are reminded of just how far we are from that dream. We are reminded of the persistent poverty and ignorance that exists in segments of the African-American community. We are reminded of the growing economic gap between those that have and those who do not.

When it comes to race relations, my children live in a better world than the one I grew up into, which was better than the one my parents experienced. The legacy we pass on is one of hope and perseverance; one that does not obliterate or ignore the past, nor wallow in it either. Dr. King, rightfully so, also noted an “urgency of the moment”; it is that urgency which seems to have dissipated. There are no riots, no marches, no moving speeches; just the sense that we are mired in a state of almost there.

~ Richard


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