Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr shared his dream with the world. Today, that dream is still downloading into our society as though we’re using a14.4k dial-up modem. At what point are we going to tire of the status quo and advance our culture and country to match the technological advances that have advanced our economy since then?
From the time that speech was given until the present, Black unemployment has constantly remained around twice the national average. The Black median income has consistently remained much lower than the national average. We desegregated the school systems only to see them being segregated once again along financial means.
A few years ago, I had the fortune to have a short conversation with Bernice King, daughter of Dr. King, and we talked about how his cause was still unfinished. Many people associate Dr. King’s work with advancing the Civil Rights of Black Americans, but few remember that he advocated for advancement for America’s poor people with no emphasis on race or color. Our country somewhat integrated itself physically and socially. We did not, however, integrate ourselves financially.
Before the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s, two separate Americas existed on this one continent, one White and one Black. For every function in the White America, there was also one in Black America. There were doctors, lawyers, dentists, midwives, and so on. Blacks had their own middle class and even had a separate upper class. When integration came about in the 1960s, that put an end to most of that as Blacks began frequenting White establishments, but the opposite did not happen for Black establishments.
I don’t have an answer as to how we fix this to truly become “One America”. If I knew that answer, I’d probably have about 250,000 or so of my fellow Americans sitting on the National Mall and millions more watching me on TV as I gave the answer to the world. I don’t think it will be one answer as much as it will take many answers from many different people. I’m only hoping to see the realization of Dr. King’s dream before I close my eyes for the last time and take my final breath.
- ASU, SPLC and Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist among thousands worldwide hosting ‘I Have a Dream’ ceremonies Wednesday (al.com)
- King’s Dream Remains an Elusive Goal; Many Americans See Racial Disparities | Pew Social & Demographic Trends (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Is the dream deferred? (poemattic.wordpress.com)
- March on Washington: America still has a dream (telegraph.co.uk)
- Bernice King: ‘African Americans are still not free’ (news.yahoo.com)