On a bitterly cold night on January 20, 2020, I attended my first Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance. It was the town of Arlington, 32nd Annual MLK Observance held at Robbins Memorial Town Hall.
A friend invited me to go with him, so we arrived early to help set up. Most volunteers had been organizing the event for over 20 years. I saw the dedication and commitment to make Dr. King’s dream an American reality.
The entire evening was inspirational. As I watched and learned, I was in total awe. It forced me to re-evaluate my life to see what I could do to make a positive difference.
Paul White, the Director of Music Ministry at Peoples Baptist Church of Boston, set the mood on the piano. He was phenomenal. Everyone in that room felt Mr. White was playing to their soul. He was that great! His rendition of We Shall Overcome left me confident We Shall Overcome! My apology for the poor quality video, but despite that, you can appreciate the beauty and passion of his rendition in this short clip.
From the MC, Mikel Satcher, to the words of Michael Curry, Esq., member of the National NAACP Board of Directors and the music of The Brotherhood Chorus of Concord Baptist Church, I was inspired to do my part to make this a just world where Black people can risk being themselves. A world that doesn’t trap us into becoming victims of a society bent on denying us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.