Never Forget

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MLK

This is a short piece written in remembrance of the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and in support of all current protest organizers and efforts. The movement still lives. Happy Martin Luther King Day!

 

Dr. King was no friend of Racism

As of late, the protest efforts of today’s movement have been continuously admonished. We continuously see the Dr. Martin Luther King’s words and legacy being cited as reason why we should or shouldn’t challenge the powers that be using certain tactics. Let us not forget that Dr. King was not necessarily a favorite amongst the powers that were. There was no action taken in our favor that was simply because Dr. King was a respectable man. His protests, though peaceful, were disruptive and put the ugliness of racism and unwarranted brutality directly in the public eye. Do not ever let anyone convince you that protest should be considerate and convenient for anyone. Do not ever let anyone convince you that racism favored MLK. There is no favor for black or brown people in racism. Only hatred.

 

Never forget the work of the fight.

We often reverence the period of the height of the fight for Civil Rights as some glorious time when we were this and they were that. Yes there are always some good times in any efforts lead by love. But be careful not to romanticize the entire time period. The people who marched and protested before us worked hard to organize and to demonstrate. They were beaten in the streets and fed to police dogs. It was a fight in the literal sense. Keep that in mind when you experience adversity. This is and always was dangerous. Look for the beauty and hope in the midst, but never forget the ugliness we are combatting.

 

Never forget there were opposing views back then too.

Ideas on how black people should go about challenging racism differed among us back in the 50s and 60s as well. In fact, as long as we have wanted a different existence in this Country, there have been opposing views on how to achieve it. Do not let opposition among us dismantle the unity over all. What matters most is that we all fight for the same cause.

Never forget MLK was young.

 Dr. King was a young man when he accepted the call to leadership. He was only 26 at the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He was not the only young voice of the movement. Students and young people all over the country led pieces of the movement in their respective locations. Never forget that young people have an important place in every movement past, present and future.

 

Never forget MLK was not the sole champion for Civil Rights

 Dr. King was a very important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. However, he was not the only person responsible for what was accomplished. There was Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Stokely Carmichael, John Lewis and the SNCC, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Daisy Bates, Shirley Chisolm and countless others who are not noted in history as leaders but committed their support. MLK is simply America’s favorite because of the large amount of publicity behind his leadership and message of nonviolence which has, over the years, been misconstrued to mean that to follow his methods means to be docile. He’s considered the “acceptable” example even after he was murdered for the very example he set. There is no way that one man could have accomplished what was accomplished alone. I doubt he’d want his name to be the only one mentioned in the successes of the Civil Rights Movement.

Never Forget Dr. King was killed. 

Today is the day we observe the life of Dr. King and his legacy of peacefully facing one of the most dangerous forces in this country. However, we should never forget that even with all of his accomplishments, no matter how respected he is today, No matter how respectable he was back then, his life was taken in an effort to permanently silence the vision he was given. And in 1999 the US government was found guilty of the conspiracy to commit his murder. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not the completion of his efforts. Don’t allow Dr. King references and quotes to be used to imply we should now be silent and satisfied. The rights are written and often unprotected. Use this day, and any other day as a reminder that there is still much work to do. The work you do is needed, and appreciated. Stay encouraged.

 

 

 

Imani

 

Imani Williams is a staff columnist for The Mixx Magazine from Louisville, KY. She is a Clark Atlanta University graduate with a degree in Communication and a passion for people. Her goal is to provide meaningful commentary and positive images on Black Love, Literature, Hair & Culture. Imani currently moonlights as Beyoncé.