While I vaguely recall being in the U.S on MLK Day in January 2017 (it was exactly the day after my arrival in DC to begin my fellowship) I will not forget how I spent the day on January 15, 2018.
The day, which started for me with a scrumptious Jamaican breakfast and mimosas with a longtime friend, ended on a real high with the Let Freedom Ring Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This concert which included a performance by the multi-talented Vanessa Williams also featured an amazing choir and some tap dancing! In the true spirit of love and all that MLK stood for, the concert also served as a place to honor an individual who was truly making an indelible mark on a number of communities in Washington D.C. I really had a good time at this concert and especially enjoyed being able to share this occasion with some other fellows.
I for one have great respect and admiration for MLK’s legacy as King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
As we continue to fight for justice and promote peace throughout the world I wish to recall my all-time favorite MLK quotes which are:
- Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
- An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
- Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
- Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
- Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.
In the memory of MLK, let’s all strive to make love and care for our fellow men and women a central part of our lives.