Niagara Gazette

September 1, 2013

DAVIS: Martin Luther King's dream, remembered and applied

By Jackie Davis
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — “… So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow I still have a dream …. a dream deeply rooted in the American dream ... that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.

“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like mighty streams …”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “I Have a Dream”

 

As the month of August has drawn to a close, I cannot help rejoicing in the fact that I live in this moment in time, in this great nation.

This week, our nation acknowledged the silver anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Truly, it is one of the greatest speeches in American history.

Last week, we embraced the historic visit of the first African American President, Barack Obama, as he addressed an audience at the University of Buffalo.

I had the privilege of being in the audience to hear the president speak, because my son Kyle, a junior at UB, gave me his ticket. As an orientation counselor for new students, Kyle had to work. His twin, Tyler, a junior, and a residence hall assistant, also had to work. As their mother, I was grateful for this wonderful, historic gift.

Seeing and hearing the leader of our nation speak in person was awesome, exciting and inspiring. His remarks were especially significant to our family. With two recent college graduates, and two college students, we are seeing first-hand the economic impact of the skyrocketing cost of a college education. I agree that there is “a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt,” and that change and accountability are necessary for a sustainable future.

Just one week later, I heard our president speak again, along with other dignitaries, as our nation acknowledge the anniversary of King’s iconic speech. As a woman, as an African American, and as a citizen of the United States, I feel like I live among the most blessed because of the tenacity and courage of those who came before me. I, my husband, our four children and countless others truly “stand on their shoulders” and bear the responsibility of keeping the dream of King alive, and expanding its possibilities.

I am fully aware that there is much left to be accomplished in the fight for equality and justice for all Americans. I am encouraged by how far we have come as a nation, and hopeful that the generations that follow will continue to strive for excellence and equality. As President Obama said:

“That’s the promise of tomorrow — that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. That when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith and every station, can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace, and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed, as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with more than 20 years of television broadcast experience. Contact her at jjd.22344@yahoo.com.

Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with more than 20 years of television broadcast experience. Contact her at jjd.22344@yahoo.com.