Monday, January 16, 2006

Cuz Martin Luther King Had A Dream

Inspiration: "Dreams" - The Game

What I'm Listening To: After Taxes - Sheek Louch from the LOX

Question(s) I asked myself today: "Why am I working on MLK day?"

I had to work today. Working on holidays never really bothered me. Before I was on salary, I would jump at the chance to get time and a half. Even after I got promoted, it never was a big deal to for me to come in on a holiday and do nothing all day. But for some reason working today really bothered me. I know that theoretically MLK day is not just for Black people, but it was strange to me as I looked at my team and saw all the Black faces stuck at work instead of at the MLK day celebrations. That got me to thinking: Does MLK day still matter to Black people?

Out of the 15 or so Blacks working with me today, only one even brought up Martin Luther King. I know that Human Resources would probably frown on it, but we had a real dialogue about race and MLK's effect on where we are today. "William" (not his real name) is an older gentleman, and had personal recollections of the racism that we so often believe is in the past. He was quick to point out how he still makes his nephews watch "Eyes on the Prize" to establish a sense of history. Bottom line is William thinks that today's youth take for granted the many freedoms that Dr. King and others fought to provide to us. I have to say that I think he's right. Even I, who considers himself a conscious brother, find myself drawn into the complacency of my middle class existence. Living in post millenium Atlanta, I sometimes forget that although there are plenty of opportunities for young brothers, there is still work to be done.

Last night, I watched the Boondocks on the Cartoon Network. This episode imagined what it would be like if MLK was still alive today. Needless to say, he was unimpressed with the state of Black America. I know this is a work of fiction, but it kind of stuck in my mind last night and today. Integration has been rewarding for our community, but at what costs? Brothers now have the same capitalistic attitude that our oppressors used to justify slavery and Jim Crow. Is it worth it to gain financially, but lose out on our society? Have we overcome because we can buy a house and an Escalade? Should the images of Oprah or Condeleeza Rice overshadow the images of the displaced poor Black victims of Hurricane Katrina? What can we do about the state of Black people in America? I don't have any answers all I know is that for the first time in a while, I find myself thinking deeply on the subject of race.

It was written...


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