Monday, January 15, 2007

What Have You Done For Him Lately???

Is this the best we can do to honor the legacy; a few pitiful parades and speeches? Sometimes when I look at 'my people,' I think Martin must be turning over in his tomb.

We're like a family who suddenly hits the lottery after living like beggars and squander what we've been given on cheap baubles and trinkets. We remain the ultimate consumers, while our communities die an agonizingly slow death in disrepair on every level. We wait for another savior without realizing it is us who must save us.

The 'Dream' didn't begin with Martin. It began when the first African made up his/her mind they would survive slavery. When I look around these days, I find myself increasingly echoing that famous Lorraine Hansberry line from "A Raisin in the Sun; "Lord where's the bottom?" Where is our pride? How do we honor our ancestors? Do we even care? As people we seem to be determined to plumb the depths of depravity and downright foolishness.

We no longer seem to have the will to persue the kind of freedom for which so many sacrificed so much.
A Speech by Lorraine Hansberry to the United Negro College Fund, May 1964

"And that is why I say to you, that though it be a thrilling and marvelous thing to be merely young and gifted in such times, it is doubly so, doubly dynamic-to be young, gifted, and black. Look at the work that awaits you! Write if you will: but write about the world as it is and as you think it ought to be and must be-if there is to be a world. Write about all the things that men have written about since the beginning of writing and talking-but write to a point. Work hard at it, care about it. Write about our people, tell their story. you have something glorious to draw on, begging for attention. Don't pass it up. Use it."