Monday, January 17, 2011

In Honor of MLK

It's difficult to think of Martin Luther King Jr. without thinking of his powerful "I Have a Dream" speech.

I've been to the National Mall for various rallies, protests, and speeches but it's still hard to imagine having experienced first-hand this very important and moving event. And to also feel the emotions all around.

The closest, I suppose, was during Obama's inauguration. I went down there hours beforehand and froze my bottom off just like everyone else. I did, however, have the benefit of meeting a woman who heard Dr. King talk in front of the Lincoln memorial on that hot summer day in 1963. She said coming to watch Obama become president was like witnessing MLK's dream for America: that anything is possible regardless of color, religion, or creed.

She was there for inauguration with her kids and grandkids, wrapped in a blanket and a big smile. She had only been to DC on those two occasions but she said, "Now I've seen it all. That's why I had to bring all my kids." But this made me wonder, maybe this is just a new beginning...and if so, what other dreams do we have for our country, for our children, and for ourselves?

MLK wasn't just a speaker or a leader or a reverend, for us writers he was also a storyteller and, in my opinion, a motivational speaker in its truest sense. You can't hear his words and not want to be better, to do better, to want more...for all of us.

In his honor, I examine speeches as storytelling this week and thank Dr. King for all he did and for the legacy he's left behind. Let us never forget!

(For a complete write-up of all things MLK, check this out.)

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