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Unfortunately we all have fallen short and the dream has yet to be fulfilled

Bobby Henry1 Unfortunately we all have fallen short and the dream has yet to be fulfilled

Bobby R. Henry, Sr.

Unfortunately we all have fallen short and the dream has yet to be fulfilled

The basic issue here is one of simply logic and fairness.  The scales of justice have been heavily weighed against the Negro for over 300 years and will not suddenly in 1964 ballast in sales by applying equal weights.  In this sense, the Negro is educationally and economically malnutritioned and anemic. It is not preferential treatment but simply decency to provide him for a brief period with special vitamins, additional food, and blood transfusions.                                    — Whitney M. Young

By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.       

      As I look back and try to imagine what it must have felt like to be a part of the 1963 March On Washington, I’m quickly reminded that a few major events have taken place in this country since and they can be counted on one hand.

I’m reminded of the old phrase: “the more things change the more they remain the same”.

We might not have experienced the privilege of participating in the March On Washington, but we have surely felt the brunt of the frustrations and the pain of those who marched.

The names have changed, however their game remains the same.

The struggles that our people faced in earlier days, the trials and tribulations are pretty much the same today.

Yet with one of the most significant strides in the history of this country- that of having our first African-American President ever elected-one would think that addressing the pains and agonies of an oppressed people as paraphrased in King’s dream would be one of his utmost priorities.

Unfortunately, the dream has yet to be fulfilled.

It is evident that there are many more nightmares and lessons to be learned before the dream comes to fruition.

What is so important about the March On Washington?  Is it simply a reminder of where we were or is it the impetus that will force us to where we should be?

There are enough of us who long to see the day when we can truly say that the dream is almost in a completion state.

Before we can willfully embrace the unification efforts of others we have to first address the self hatred in our own culture. It’s as if we’re inside our Blackness and we can’t see the forest for the trees.

The forest is what we allow our existence to be captured in and trying to stay alive amongst the trees are what seems to be the horrible conditions of economics, Health Care and education.

These are the same things which propelled our leaders to get uncomfortable and become proponents of the march in 1963, and yet these trees are still barricading our paths to successes right now.

One of the things that I see missing as we journey through what appears to be a perpetual motion of moving forward just to go backwards, is our leadership is so inundated with our quandary of culture/inflictions superseded by a societal rejection, that most of us don’t even know we have leadership.

After 50 years of the wind blowing change of times things have not changed.

The uncertainties of what we were confronted with 50 years ago are now the certainties of what we must overcome today.

Yes, there are new additions that we have created, monsters that have filtered through our umbilical cords to our babies.

The tainted blood source that we are infusing in our babies is crippling our masses in the ability to run this marathon to fulfill the dream.

Our foot soldiers appear to be suffering from a degenerative disease which is causing a lack of connectedness to our history of overcoming struggles. This has impeded our ability to pass on our legacies which has led to selective ethnicity amnesia.

The strength of our struggle has given way to complacency in our moral identity fueled by the hypocrisy of “what if” integration.

I wonder what would be the wish of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were he still alive and what would be the dream that he would reform his prolific speech surrounding his hopes for us as a people?

What message of hope and lifeline would he extend to our young Black “school uneducated” men who seem to prefer prison over college?

What would be his message of abstinence to our young Black women who inadvertently turn away from all the other landmark messages and continue to play  Russian roulette while having unprotected s*x, not accepting the statistics that show  the population that leads in new HIV/AIDS cases are young Black women?

How would he preach nonviolence to families who have suffered death at the hands of domestic violence?

And what would be his motivational sermon to the 20 percent of our unemployed population?

How would he convince a significant portion of the African-American population to stay involved with a political system that is hell bent on disenfranchising them to the point of enslavement?

What would be his stance on public opinion that the first African American president appears to not have the best interests of the most needed at stake?

Would he tell them to just, ‘Wait’?

“Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. We have waited for more than 340 years for constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political in-dependence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, ‘Wait.’  But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policeman curse, kick and even kill your Black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your 20,000,000 Negro Brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society… when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of ‘nobodiness’—then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963).

 

 

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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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