In his absence, what did we understand?
I spent today next to an elderly woman, clapping along to the sounds of a gospel choir and a human beatboxer. I read her the names of the politicians who came to share their words about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today was the 24th annual celebration of his birthday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She clutched mine and my friend’s hands as we sang “We Shall Overcome.” It may sound simple, but it meant a lot for me to share in that moment with her. She witnessed the March on Washington, denied the rights of other citizens just because of the color of her skin. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight affected her life directly, and they fought so I wouldn’t have to for rights I’ve known my entire life.
Danny Glover was the keynote speaker of the event, and he posed this question: What does it mean ultimately to be a human being? There are many ways to answer that question. The events of last week’s earthquake left a country, already in need of help and resources, in need of our immediate attention, our help, and our love.
We stand on the shoulders of many to enjoy the rights in our everyday lives. Let a child, a friend, those in need of help use our shoulders, and continue his work.