By Basia Alicia Powell
Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day. I want to take this day to reflect on the man, his powerful words, and movement that made a young black girl from the Caribbean know that it is ok to dream big. I cannot imagine where we would be today, if it were not for his sacrifice, vision and determination to stand up against social injust.
The words “I have a dream” coming from a black man fighting for civil rights comforted me at a time when many people, more so girls who looked like me, we afraid to dream. These words lived in me and gave me confidence and inner strength. I thought to myself if Dr King has a dream, then it is ok for me to have a dream.
When I was little girl, Dr King was the most prominent international black man I knew. He inspired me. The importance of his movement and his commitment to lead that movement with a “non violence” approach, is truly an inspiration. There was no social media back then, but his impact was global. This says everything about the power of the man. As a matter of fact, I actually did my final year thesis at University, on Dr Martin Luther King Jr and the late Mahatma Ghandi philosophy.
Today, as I am living that dream that Dr King inspired, I am doing so from Atlanta. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine, while I was dreaming in my early childhood, that my family and I would settle in the city where Dr King lived, and where he and his colleagues started the civil rights movement. Thank you Dr King, that black and brown people can live wherever we want, and most of all live well in this great city.
Mind you, we still have to march from time to time due to issues like climate change, racial, social and political injustices etc. I know we still have a long road ahead. The good news is we are not where we used to be. We are free to go to the best universities, buy homes we can afford in the best neighborhoods, pursue our dream careers etc. (By the way Dr King , Tyler Perry is making you proud. He has brought Hollywood to Atlanta by creating the largest television/movie studio in Atlanta, and it is very diversed. He is employing all types of people, not just black people.)
As we continue to witness injustices in our society, me must never give up. We have to pursue the dream and create the world that Dr King envisioned so many years ago, let us not forget his words. As I reflect on his prophetic words, I am confident that we are closer to his dream.
Take a look at some of my favorites:
“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 that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”– Dr Martin Luther King Jr
And of course my favorite that keeps me going everytime is: