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Monday, January 21, 2019

We’re Trying: A simple tribute to a great man. Thank you, Dr. King.

I wrote this is 2005 when creating my poetry book A Man in Transition, published in 2008. (Bravin Publishing LLC) 
My writing was evolving since then, but I needed to include this tribute to Dr. King. Years ago, I placed this on my social media page years ago, but sadly, not much has changed and I think we're still far off from the dream and ideas Dr. King had for us a people. 

From "A Man in Transition" by K. L. (Keith "K. L." Belvin)

We’re Trying:
A simple tribute to a great man. Thank you, Dr. King. We're trying.

Where have those leaders gone? Where are the men of conviction? Where are the wives of these great men and where are those families that were born from the union of such great folks?
Where is the next Dr. MLK, Jr.?
Did King's words indeed only rate as a good speech and some interesting lessons in history classes? Is he only to be an exciting topic in January and then again in February when we watch the films and say, "Was it really that bad then?" "How could they just stand there and let that happen to themselves!" "Why didn’t they fight back?" "Did non-violence really work?"
Did Dr. King die for nothing? Is his holiday indeed that or is it a token of appreciation so we will stop complaining about things? Why did the episode of the Boondocks spark controversy when it was really about how many of us forgot what the man was really about? Did we forget he was a man of God, who died doing what he believed God wanted him to do?
Where is the next MLK, Jr.?
What happened to real marches about real issues? Where did the SNCC, The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SCLC The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and BPP, Black Panther Party for Defense go? DO people even remember what Jim Crow was laws were all about?
Dr. King paved the way, but when did we stop laying the bricks to the house he built with blood, sweat, tears, and his life? When was the last successful boycott after King when home? Something is wrong here; times are supposed to be better. What did he do wrong? Where are the men this great OAK TREE of a man was supposed to Father? King gave his life for what he believed. Who picked up his flame and added theirs on lighter fluid? How could we have gone backward, from Sean Bell to Emmit Till? Something is wrong. King saw and understood what the future was supposed to be by looking deep into his present and things still didn't change.
See for yourself-------->
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

Martin Luther King JR. “I Have A Dream Speech.” Washington, D. C., 1963.

Yet nothing has changed, and that check was never rewritten. Where did we go wrong?
Where is the next MLK, Jr.?
We are farther divided now than we ever were economically, educationally, socially, and of course spiritually. We are not even close to helping each other over the hump. Hell, we have moved back to the back of the bus without being told to do so. How did this happen? Wasn't King’s death supposed to spark a national uprising that spirited us in the very future he was fighting for, took all those beatings for, and spent time in jail for? I thought when you’re a martyr for your cause, people stand up and take notice of your life being taken and become motivated? Where did he fail here?
Did we forget that period between 1963 and 1972 when we watched and allowed America to act out and kill Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, the Kennedy brothers, and King himself?  Toss in the infiltration and destruction of all the Black Panthers for fun, and this is how our movement died? Where did we fail them?
Well, they gave him a holiday, and we get the day off, but through all the TV shows, plays, skits, and songs where will the next KING emerge from? The next who, the future KING? One benefit is his queen has left to take her place next to the man she loved, so if for nothing else I am happy that the KINGS are reunited. On this day I am going to sit for a few and ponder the very questions I have put to all that have read this. I really don't have the answers.
As an educator, I have tricked myself into believing that I will have some small role in the making of the next “King,” and with the Lord's mercy, he'll allow me to see one grow into the next MLK, Jr. I can only dream and pray it doesn't end like the man whose holiday most won't celebrate in a fashion fitting to the man that died for it to become one.
Dr. King, I have never met you or seen you in person, but your presence is felt when I read your words or watch your videos. The Lord truly touched you, and I hope I can do a tenth of all that you've done to make this a better world to live in. God bless you, Dr. King, your wife, and your family.  I am one of those children who listened to you as I grew into a man and prayed someday my children and many other children "will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
Martin Luther King JR. “I Have A Dream Speech.” Washington, D. C., 1963.

However, I have to be honest, sir. It’s not looking too good.

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