I should write something for Martin Luther King Day. Something introspective and profound. Something that measures up to the man.
But I’ve done that before. In both word and deed. I don’t know what to do now.
MLK was THE most pivotal figure in my life, the truest hero I had (next to Chuck D and Spike Lee). I made one decision about college: I pursued one school, I applied to be school, I was accepted to one school. I chose to go to Morehouse College because that’s where King went. Where his calling was formed. And I wanted that. I even stayed in the same dorm he lived in.
When I sat in orientation at Morehouse–a hundred or so us freshmen sitting together–an upperclassman said: “How many of you love Dr. King?” We all raised our hands. Then he said, “How many of you have read his books?” Crickets. He said, “How can you say you love someone but you won’t read his words? He’s more than ‘I Have A Dream.'”
I’d dedicated myself to emulating this man and had read only one speech and one letter (Letter From Birmingham Jail). I really didn’t know him; i knew his accomplishments. I coveted his impact. I wanted to move the crowd but hadn’t done the work. I hadn’t earned it.
So I read. Voraciously.
Until the words became part of I was. Who I am. Until I knew the man I was trying to become.
Seattle got hit with a pretty good snowstorm this weekend (bear with me: I’m going somewhere with this). 8 inches of snow so far with MUCH more to come. I watched it come down, watched the news, and watched the first MLK sales commercial I’ve ever seen before the 367th Republican debate on which candidate could defeat America’s first Black president. And I tried to figure out what to write to commemorate the day. I couldn’t. So I went outside to have a snowball fight with my family–my white wife, my interracial children.
I think that is point.