I'm not one to sing the praises of Reverend Al Sharpton frequently. In fact, I've been one of those black folk that will holla he doesn't speak for all blacks, especially me, with the quickness. But today, I want to thank Rev Al for being there when so many of us that should have been there weren't.
Today was the 47th anniversary of the epic "I Have a Dream Speech" given so eloquently by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963.
I was two years old when Dr. King gave that speech but the whole Civil Rights Movement always touched my soul. I always appreciated the sacrifices that those people, Black and White, went through during that tumultuous time in our Country's history. I always wondered if I would have been strong enough to stand in the face of all that conflict, hatred, and danger during those times. I was the kid that cried at the end of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman when she drank out of that water fountain. Cicely Tyson brought that story home for me and I was 13 when it was released. The 1978 release of King: The Martin Luther King Story fueled a curiosity in me about "the movement" that has been unmatched by any subject.
The year that my daughter's Girl Scout Troop Leaders took the girls to Atlanta to visit Morehouse, Spelman, and The King Center was the best and most memorable field trip I ever chaperoned. I say, without shame, that I enjoyed that weekend more than any of the girls. For me, it was a chance to drink in the spirit of those organizations that I had always read about but never had the pleasure of experiencing first hand. I bought some postcards from The King Center that weekend featuring some of Dr. King's quotes that I had mounted and framed that mean as much to me as a Picasso -- no lie.
When I found out that Glenn Beck was having a shindig on the anniversary of Dr. King's speech, in the same location no less, I felt some kind of way about it. Glenn Beck is not one I would associate with the message that Dr. King was giving at all. In fact, it has been tweeted all day that Dr. King would have definitely made it on his infamous little chalkboard.
There were a lot of upset folk on Twitter about Beck's hijacking of the day and location for his mess, but thankfully Rev Al pulled rallied the troops and organized a "real rally and march" that more accurately captured the spirit of today than that fake ass mess Beck put on.
I thank you Rev. Al for standing up when so many of us sat down and allowed Beck to make his move. I thank you for your tireless fight for us when so many of us are quick to distance ourselves from your so called "tired" responses to some issues. I thank you for your dedication. I might not always agree with you, but I appreciate your efforts.
I'm one to claim that the younguns of today haven't learned enough from those that came before them. Today I realized there are too many in my age group who are just as guilty of not passing along the lessons. Thanks for having our backs. There are too many of us reaping the benefits of the struggles you, Dr. King, and numerous others endured and are not paying it forward. We're so busy "getting ours". There is no reason in the world that Glenn Beck with all his race baiting and divisiveness should have been able to hijack a day and location that we claim is so hallowed. None. We must do better.
Thanks Rev. Al.