On Martin Luther King Jr. day, we at TLR celebrate the great words of an American civil rights leader whose legacy is still inspiring generations today.
#1. “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ”insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” – I Have A Dream, 1963
This quote shows no fear and no hesitation to bring forth a powerful and bold plan by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The message screams to be heard through imaginary state borders and past the Great Lakes. His vision of wanting change was unraveling before the audience’s teary eyes. Everything about this quote exemplifies the hope he had for the divided society in that time to embrace a different, fair, and more peaceful future. #2. “When we allow freedom to ring-when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all (If God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, “We are free at last.” – I Have A Dream,1963
The word freedom makes me think of the powerful song titled “Think” by Aretha Franklin. Her soulful belt of the word freedom sends shivers from my toes all the way up to my beating chest. I imagine I would have gotten a similar reaction hearing MLK Jr. live in 1963. #3. “Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout, “White Power!” when nobody will shout, “Black Power!” but everybody will talk about God’s power and human power.”- Where Do We Go From Here ,1967
Together we can make a difference. We are all humans and share the same space here on Earth. Today and everyday we should continue to improve one another by being loving neighbors, friends, and family! #4. “Let us fight passionately and unrelentingly for the goals of justice and peace. But let’s be sure that our hands are clean in this struggle. Let us never fight with falsehood and violence and hate and malice, but always fight with love, so that when the day comes that the walls of segregation have completely crumbled in Montgomery, that we will be able to live with people as their brothers and sisters.” – Where Do We Go From Here,1967
Non violent philosophy should speak to every human’s conscience. The world can be filled with hate, violence, and crude acts or behavior. Never let it soak into your soul. Never repeat the circle of violence as it will never end. Be the nonviolent leader MLK Jr. inspired us to be in his 1967 “Where Do We Go From Here” book.
#5.“As a result of the sit-in movement at lunch counters, more than 285 cities have now integrated their lunch counters in the South. I say to you, there is power in this method.
And I think by following this approach it will also help us to go into the new age that is emerging with the right attitude. For nonviolence not only calls upon its adherents to avoid external physical violence, but it calls upon them to avoid internal violence of spirit. It calls on them to engage in that something called love.” – Address at the Freedom Rally in Cobo Hall, 1963
Love is powerful. Love is kind. Nonviolent resistance is key for leaving an everlasting impact for generations to follow. Our children are watching after all.
Tchanori Kone, a courageous fifth grader from the Houston area delivers the winning MLK speech for a contest. She points out that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would be dissatisfied with the homeless population, flawed school systems, and the crumbling healthcare system.