I (Tia) always get really emotional on MLK day. I'm a pretty tough chick. I will fight if I need to. I mean physically come to fist-a-cuffs if the situation need be. And I think I have a pretty thick skin. But every January on the 3rd Monday, I remember that any adversity that I've come up against in my life pales in comparison to what previous generations endured all for the simple desire to be free and treated as equals with their fellow man.
I complain if the line at Starbucks is too long. But had it not been for the civil rights movement I wouldn't even be able to walk in the door of Starbucks. Some of our parents and grandparents endured physical violence, imprisonment and even death for the right to do some of the mundane day-to-day activities that I take for granted.
My best guy friend is white. My new running buddy is Asian. The guy who will forever be the best kisser of my high school career is Hispanic. My Benetton ad list of friends is something that I hardly ever think about. It's just what it is. But when I take a moment to think about my mother who was sent to one of the first integrated high schools in Knoxville, when I think of Medger Evers shot and killed in front of his own home, when I think of Dr. King giving the almost eerily prophetic Mountaintop Speech only to be gunned down the next day, I can't help but be moved to tears. I'm so grateful for every man, woman and child, who fought, bled and died for the liberties that we have today.
My hope is that we as a people, regardless of race, continue to follow in the steps of Dr. King's dream. I pray that we all will seek to extend equality to our fellow man and to love one another as Christ instructed us to. Because love extended to your brother is what Dr King dreamed about.