Times, they are a changin’. Just two weeks ago, our nation inaugurated its first African American president. This month, we remember the long road that brought us here. Although Black History Month (which began as "Negro History Week" in 1926) has been reenergized by current events, its goals — to remember, to honor, and to educate — remain the same.
One man whose name always tops the list of influential black leaders is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact, many would remove the race reference, calling him one of the most influential American leaders of our time. His words were quoted repeatedly during inaugural events, and the timing of the inauguration -- days after his eightieth birthday -- was especially poignant.
<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O />
Dr. King’s role in the civil rights movement earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. But, as was noted in the presentation speech, "it was not because he led a racial minority in their struggle for equality that Martin Luther King achieved fame." Instead, his “name will endure for the way in which he has waged his struggle,” not only teaching but personifying nonviolent resistance.
King's approach of nonviolent resistance was grounded in the teachings of Jesus -- who was, according to King and many who knew him -- his source of strength. But, it was a more recent struggle and the story of another wise and peaceful man -- Gandhi -- that convinced King that a peaceful path to change could transform not only individuals, but nations.
This February, regardless of the color of your skin… Dream On! invites you to remember, to be inspired, and to live Dr. King’s dream of peace, justice, and equality.