Jan. 21, 2022

Dr. King’s Spirit Is Restless

On that historic day in August 1963, before Dr. King revealed his vision for America, his Dream For America, Dr. King talked about a check returned marked "insufficient funds" related to constitutional equality and economic equity in American society. As I continue to bound my reading project “The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project” to the sermons, letters, and philosophy of Dr. King during January 2022. This question continues to disturb me about the treatment and condition that is facing Americans of African Descent in 2022.

Why are we as a black community still engulfed in a situation that bounds us to this circumstance?

Yes, this nation elected a President of African Heritage in 2008 and re-elected that President in 2012 supposedly shepherding in an era of a colorblind society, a society where the content of a man or woman’s character not the color of a man or a woman’s skin would be the measuring rod but which we determine that individual’s value. Well, that election was an illusion and we were deluded to believe that change was on the horizon. Deluded to believe that King’s beloved community was indeed an American possibility. I believe totally in my soul that if Dr. King’s spirit were to be conjured back he would ask with firm deliberation why black people almost 60 years later from that day in 1963 still sit encased in that circle of insufficient funds in both equal and economic rights? Dr. King would ask why we as black Americans after fighting so hard for voting rights and gaining them supposedly in 1965 marching backward in the area of political quality and engagement in 2022. Dr. King would ask what happened to his efforts to eliminate poverty in this nation. What happened, and why didn’t our black community leaders not follow through with the Poor People’s Campaign that he dedicated himself to before his assassination? Dr. King would wonder why the economic gaps have significantly widened between those who have and those that don’t? Dr. King would ask how is it acceptable that so many Americans can seemingly look away from the fact that 42 million people in this nation go unclothed and unfed every night in this nation? Dr. King would ask how is it acceptable that more black males are incarcerated in American prisons now than the number of blacks who were held in servitude before the Civil War. Dr. King would surmise that equality in rights has not progressed but rather it has regressed since 1963.

This month’s commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. on The Blackman Read Aloud Hour Project gives me no great relief that these troubling situations will be solved any time soon. Also, know that the conjured spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is restless because his beloved community isn’t close to being in sight.