Jan 16, 2017

Dear MLK,

Born January 15th in 1929. You would be 88 years old today. And I am sure you would still look and feel great because "black don't crack". But in all seriousness this day, which was originally known as a day of service is dedicated to you and your legacy. This day is celebratory because without your very existence the black community would not have a place in this country. With this day comes remembrance of your entire legacy and the fight for freedom that still remains relevant today.

The past few years have been hard. Damn hard. Especially for the black community. We've seen our brothers and sisters get slaughtered on video by police. We've seen racist remarks and behavior on national television during the Presidential Election. We (and I say that very loosely) have now elected a racist, corrupt man as our President and God only knows what is to come of that once Friday passes. What I am trying to say is, that a lot has changed since your time but the same battles are still being fought just in a different manner.  We are still trying to be silenced and we are still trying to be told that our fight doesn't matter. That All Lives Matter so Black Lives don't or so there is no need to have an organization fighting for Black Lives. We are all tired just as you were sitting in those jail cells feeling defeated. We are all disappointed just as you were when our people turned to violence despite your cry for peace. We are lost and that is something that we look to you for guidance. Which is why today is a day of reflecting, of remembering, of learning and of perseverance.
You taught us that our black is beautiful despite what the outside sources say. You taught us that we matter despite what the outside sources say. You taught us what it means to be a true leader in our community and how we all can embody leadership characteristics to continue lighting the torch of freedom for our people. Because if we don't, who will? 

Outside of all your greatness as an activist and religious leader, you were a family man who taught us that black families are important and although they are not perfect, they are needed. A unity and bond that cannot be broken in the home is the strong foundation we need to build community. For when we understand what our love is, we understand how to use that love to let our brothers and sisters in our neighborhoods and schools know that they matter to us if not anyone else. 
What I am trying to say is that we love you for simply being you. For fighting for our rights and our future. For being fearless. For being brave and bold. For going against the odds and standing tall in your beliefs. For being someone we look up to and someone we will always learn from. For being a family man. For being a father to all of us. 

I thank you and every other activist, fighter, leader who came before you and after you everyday of my life not just today. But today, I wanted to tell you personally. So thank you.

With Love,

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