Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr‘s historic “I Have A Dream” speech and I’ve been on my own lil personal pilgrimage all year.
Many have been reflecting on Dr, King and his efforts for equality, and the judgement of ones character other than one’s skin tone. But my attention is on the civil rights movement as a whole on this day and the pioneering efforts of Claudette Colvin [more on her later].
The basis for the historical march, and ultimately King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” was about equality for the American negro.
Today’s historic day has me thinking about circumstance… and fate, a notion that struck me like a ton of bricks over the weekend.
In the morning that annoying alarm clock goes off and you automatically hit the “snooze” button to catch a few more zzz’s.
You manage to oversleep and jump out of bed tossing all morning hygiene rules aside just to get to work as close to “on time” as possible. You jump in your car and push the ignition button, throw your vehicle in reverse and speed off to work.
While in route, you discover a horrible car accident that’s involved several cars on your normal route to work. It suddenly hits you that today if you had been on time like usual, you would have actually been apart of the accident. Fate.
I’m a strong believer in fate… faith… destiny…
Some fail to understand that every action you take is either a preparation for the good or the bad times ahead.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s polarizing presence speaks volumes when you learn how his fate was shaped, and his life ultimately sacrificed for the better of all mankind.
Allow history to walk us through it….
March 2nd 1955, a young black woman is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Alabama. Civil rights leader and the ACLU rushed to her side, and she will be a symbol of the struggle against segregation. Her name: Claudette Colvin.
She’s 15 years-old at the time, unmarried, and is also pregnant. Civil rights leaders and the ACLU decided that Colvin isn’t the best representation and stand down.
Eight months later Rosa Parks happens. During that eight months a brilliant and charismatic young minister gets the attention of the people and is chosen to lead the bus boycotts.
If Claudette Colvin doesn’t get pregnant, If they’d gone in the spring instead of eight months later, Martin Luther King, Jr. is preacher you’ve never heard of in Montgomery. [NewsRoom]
It’s clear fate had other plans for Claudette Colvin, and as a result we all are better off for it. And although fate brought Martin Luther King, Jr. to the “Ivory’ steps of DC for all minorities and people of oppression, fate and Claudette Colvin is also a notable presence, along with King on this glorious day.
While many were willing to die for their children — us — to thrive and face equality and justice for all, what are WE now doing to carry on the legacy of those who marched on Washington 50 years ago?
So I pose this question….