Today we celebrate a man who took pride in himself and the ability of Blacks to effect change and to end the injustices they faced at the hands of white men and women so filled with hate they did their best to deny Black beauty and taught Blacks to do the same.
Whites tried to break our ancestors’ spirits by depriving them of dignity, by telling Blacks that we were base beings not fit for anything more than hard labor and fornication. By denying us access to education and through systematic oppression, Blacks have been kept in their PURPORTED place by those who hate us.
So engrained are their standards of beauty that little Black boys and girls grow up loathing the color of their skin and the texture of their hair. So engrained are their teachings of white superiority that many minorities don’t strive for anything greater because they don’t believe they deserve or could ever access better.
As we observe today and celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and legacy, let’s also celebrate ourselves and our abilities. Let’s celebrate our myriad skin tones and hair textures and nose widths. Let’s celebrate our various cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs. Let’s see ourselves the way this man who sacrificed his life so that we may truly live and be recognized for our worth saw us! We honor him by honoring ourselves and we honor ourselves by being our very best and not accepting the labels or limitations that others place on us.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.