This monday Jan 17, marks the day we celebrate MLK's bday. As a native new yorker who is over 30, I have celebrated his birthday my entire life. It is well known that my IBM(Ideal Black Man) is Malcom X, for me he personified what it means to be a man and what political integrity means. In the particular time of Fox News and reality foolishness, I doubt he would have recieved had the adequate politcal landscape to share his views. While Dr. King to me was the BMOC and All-American guy who would have dated only the cheerlearders! Dr. King, would not have occuppied my IBM profile, there is no question of his place as a political leader. It would be hard to find a political leader with his integrity, intelligence and sensitivity. At a time when openly gay men were being arrested, his right hand man was no other than Bayard Rustin, the architect of the March on Washington. Dr. King's accomplishments are many, including being the youngest person to ever recieve the Nobel Peace Prize. He was not only a gifted speaker but also writer and his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" is a critical standard for essay writing and as a spiritual leader he was able to reach across oceans with his message and love and equality. Dr. King's legacy, in many ways has reduced him to a "political teddy bear" all about love and dreamin. I think that really undermines his message, his strength and courage. While he spoke of non-violence, he didnt speak about politeness. He was very articulate in his is condemnation of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, the rampant poverty in the U.S. and the goverments lack of response and the socio-economic oppression of black americans in this country. He showed that using a gun is cowardice but speaking from truth is courage. Each time, he left his home he knew he might not return. He willingly put his life on the line for the betterment of this country. He was under constant surveillance by the F.B.I and had to question the loyalty of each person he came in contact with. Yet, he was able navigate all this pressure with grace and humilty. Tavis Smiley once said he believed that Dr. King is the best person america has ever produced. I dont know if I completely agree with that but he definitely in the top 1%. When you look at the scope of his life, he accomplished the bulk of his work in about 13 years and died before his 40th birthday. There are few people who you can say this is a better WORLD because of thier birth. I shudder to think what this country would have looked like if Spirit had not decided to bless us on Jan 15, 1929 with Martin Luther King III. He is an american original in a country that decided which toilet he could use, what color of bride he could have, whether he voted or not, would give him the uniforms of dead white soldiers if he decided to enlist. He repaid this country's hatred with G*d's love and rivetting intelligence. He gave this country an american that the whole world admires and respects, a symbol of freedom which they did not offer him. This country should be thankful for this man's work and be honored to celebrate his legacy.
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An Actor/Director sharing her thoughts on creativity in this crazy metropolis, New Yawk Citay.