For me one of the biggest dreamers, greatest men, and wisest thinkers of the 20th century was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He gave all of us a great moral center, and we can still go back to his words to guide us, for he lived and died his word. One of my favorite quotes of his is from “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” the last Sunday morning sermon he delivered on March 31, 1968:
“Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet… we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. …We must learn to live together as brothers. Or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. …”
His words today are more than just something to read during King’s birthday month or in February during Black History month. These words are ones each one of us can consider and then act on every day, and I begin with me. The truth of his words rings true for me as I experienced it for 23 years as an English-as-a-Second Language teacher. My students from all over the world taught me that we are a brotherhood and sisterhood of mankind with different cultures.
The dream of Martin Luther King Jr. is continuing through a group of young people called the DREAM DEFENDERS which was founded following the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida in February 2012. This group of activists describe themselves as a “human rights organization, directed by Black and Brown youth who confront inequality and the criminalizing of our generation with NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION…” You can read about them in the Summer 2014 “The Crisis” .
The Executive Director of Dream Defenders is Phillip Agnew who said about the Defenders:
“We are a generation of young people that are not afraid to dream and even less afraid to fight for what we believe is right and the America want to live in.”
You can check out the website for the Dream Defenders at: dreamdefenders.org/vest.
Thank You, Dream Defenders!