Martin, Obama, and an Ongoing Dream

I saw this cartoon by Tom Toles on Daniel Kurzman page at About.com, and was struck by the effective and brilliant simplicity of it. And by the significance of this moment in time. It’s kind of mind-boggling when you stop to consider the enormity of it all.

Today we celebrate the legacy of a civil rights leader who lost his life directly because of his efforts to create a better, more equal world. Tomorrow we witness history, as the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama, is sworn into office.

According to CNN, 69 percent of blacks believe that Dr. King’s dream has come to light. In 2007 I wondered if we were still dreaming, and quoted segments of Dr. King’s most famous speech — the I Have a Dream speech, delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, where superstars like Bono and Beyonce entertained a massive audience during the We Are One concert yesterday.

I found this amazing video highlighting the passage of history, using images and video from the darkest days of the Civil Rights movement, through the victory of Barack Obama. Hat tip to Robin’s Remixes for creating something so remarkable. Viva YouTube for this kind of ingenuity!

I don’t know if I’d say Dr. King’s dream has come true… but I think we’re almost there. We’re closer today than ever before. And tomorrow for many — especially those of you in Washington DC right now! — surely it must feel like reality.

How do you feel today, bellas and fellas? How do you think your ancestors would feel? How would Dr. King feel, today?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Proud and Hopeful Bella says:

    I don’t think that the dream has entirely come to pass, but it has certainly opened up tremendous possibilities. Barack Obama has shown us that it CAN be done, and has challenged us to step out, stand up and dare. Equally importantly, he has shattered the myths of those who thought that African Americans or other persons of color are somehow less able in intelligence, determination, ability or other capacity. This is why there was ecstasy all over the world on November 4, 2008, a historic day indeed.

  2. I agree with Proud and Hopefully Bella.
    I think Barack has paved the way in presenting a more positive image of black people not just in america but globally. Racism certainly isn’t dead (though we all wish it would be) but I believe that for all people of colour, if you work hard, have high ambitions and present yourself in the right way-you can achieve anything irrespective of racial barriers. Thats the message that Obama’s success reflects in my opinion.

    I’ve worked in schools in the UK and ethnic kids (especially black boys) have this attitude that because they are underprivileged they cant achieve anything with their lives. Hopefully those kids have a role model in Barack and see that if they worked hard they could be successful.

    And I think Dr. King would be extremely proud of Barack’s accomplishments. Its ten steps closer to racial equality.

  3. Great Blog post Afrobella!!!

    Like you I don’t think Martin’s dream has become fully realized despite the fact we’ll have an African American President in the Oval Office. In order for Martin’s dream to be fully achieved we have to do our part as well. This is something that Barack has been speaking about ever since he started running for President. If we don’t do our part in our community and in our family. Then no matter who’s in the office the dream will never be realized.

    We have to be responsible for our own actions, once we’ve said we’ve had enough to certain injustices and start acting upon it then Martin’s dream will be realized. Martin wasn’t just a dreamer he was a doer he acted upon his dream, he didn’t just sit around talking about change, he made a change. In order for things to happen around us we must become pro-active in our own change.

    ~1luv

  4. I think Martin and our ancestors would be very proud of Barack and a lot of us. But they still would be ashamed of us too. We have come a long way, yet we have a long way to go. We need our pride back. We are killing each other with guns, drugs, and abuse. We have gotten worse with black men killing their own babies. This must end. We have to reach back once we get ahead because a lot of us are falling by the side while we’re trying to march forward. Yes, we can vote, sit at the same counters, go in the same places, and achieve the same dreams. Yet, there is still racial inequality. We can still get shot in the back in front a crowd.

  5. politicallyincorrect says:

    Martins dream will not come fully realized until black folks do better economically. Until we get our own businesses blacks will stay at the bottom.

  6. Pastor Jeff says:

    I believe that thinking that MLK would be happy or proud of Obama just because he is a black man goes against everything that King’s dream was about. Dr. King would have never had supported someone, regardless of color, who openly defies the Word of God that he stood for. I believe that Dr. King would be rolling over in his grave to know that the Liberal media has used his Vision to advance their leftist agenda. Dr. King was an amazing man, but most of all he was a Man of God!!

  7. As people we are ever evolving. Without Martin there would have been no Barack. Barack is here to fulfill his destiny and to pave the way for those to come after him both in thought and deed.

    Martin’s dream was for us to have a place at the table. We have that place. Now it’s up to us to decide what to do with it.

    Love to all on this great day.

  8. MissKStrong says:

    Without taking anything away from the importance of this moment and what it has meant and will mean for the world, I think we need to go back and understand what MLK’s dream was all about. For many, our understanding of The Dream is a very shallow sense of integration, of blacks and other people of color occupying positions that have historically been denied to us. In my understanding, this is a very sanitized and incomplete version of what Martin Luther King had in mind. The vast majority of the so-called I Have a Dream speech was not about dreaming, but about tangible social-justice public policy! So, until we have full social justice and the achievement of human rights (which, if you look at the increasing economic and educational segregation, seems as far away as it did then), then we will continue to be falling FAR FAR FAR short of what Martin Luther King and other influential activists who have been forgotten had in mind.

  9. Dad and Mom says:

    Just singing James Brown’s song; I feel good…… so good, so good…..
    He has the capacity, the capability, the intelligence and the confidence to excell. Yet, he needs our prayers. A lot has happened, but there is so much still to happen to provie the comfort Americans and the world need now and in the future. Let us protect him with our love, goodwill and good vibes, always.
    And may Almighty God protect him so that he can continue the work that he was sent on this planet to do
    D&M

  10. I would say, and my parents would agree, that the world and time that I have grown up in is much different than what they had to deal with. It boggles the mind that it wasn’t that long ago that there were separate drinking fountains in the south.

    We have come so far since the “I Have A Dream” speech. And yes we have farther to go.

    But each day that I wake up see that I am valued as an employee at my company or can shop where I want to and even hit a couple of balls at a driving range, I realize that there is hope.

  11. I think Barack Obama is a link in the continuum of Dr, King’s dream. To believe that his presidency fulfill the dream would assume that they are no future leaders male or female who will come along and continue to transform the face of humanity.
    Today I reflected that on Martin Luther King Jr. day last year I sat and watched a segment on Oprah about Gees Bend Alabama; a community whose African-American residents were denied resources for decades due to discrimination; until a couples years ago. Fast forward 365 days later and I am anxious to witness the possibilities of Mr. Obama’s term of leadership.
    I think Dr. King and the soldiers of the civil rights movement would not be surprised at all. Dr. King said on August 28th 1963 “we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt”. I think Obama’s election in part brings that belief to fruition.

  12. Audrey Lewis says:

    I have no words because it is hard to interpret emotions so close to the soul. Happy? Yes. Very. Ready to roll up my sleeves and be an active part of the change? Yes. Definitely. I was there when Dr. King delivered his I Have A Dream speech. More than anything, I wanted to be treated like an American. When I was young I was told I was Colored, then I became a Negro. By the time I was an adult, I was Black and now on applications I’m asked if I am an African American. I have always been American and now I honestly believe that I will no longer have to express my differences but my commonality. I am an American! and proud of it.

  13. I feel my ancestors are happy to see this day as is Martin. The dream of equality of all is a dream that is becoming brighter every day.

  14. Pearlsrevealed says:

    I agree with many of the sentiments expressed. especially MissKStrong. MLK’s new agenda was to be the “poor peoples” campaign when his life was tragically ended.

    With freedom, rights and priviledges comes the responsiblity to use these wisely and for the common good of all. Unfortunately, the rights won through the sacrifices of MLK and untold thousands are being squandered on greed and selfish motives in our community and the whole nation.

    Nope. Real change is yet to come.

    But I am encouraged by the creativity that this campaign has inspired as evident from the dozens of youtube videos I have reviewed since this summer. It makes me feel like this is what it was like during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement of the sixties. A time when voices were loud and everyone had a song, a book, a painting, a whatever, that was inspired by what was going on during those treacherous times.

  15. I am neutral about this day. I feel like something is superficial about it, however, this will look good in the history books. I will just continue to better myself and hopefully others as a person and watch this interesting presidential term.

Speak Your Mind

*