I Have A Dream

"I have a dream that one day I will see a Martin Luther King special that talks about more than the 'I Have a Dream' speech," I say.
"But it's such a monumental speech," she responds.
"But he has more stuff," I say trying unsuccessfully to prevent the exasperation from creeping into my voice.

Sigh. I may as well have been talking to myself. Sometimes I feel like a little black island unto my little black self. Oprah again. She had this special on yesterday. So touchy-feely-let's-all-hold-hands. Very movie-esque even down to the camera shots and the children running up a hill and down a hill and reciting different parts of the 'I Have a Dream' speech. What? No I'm not joking. Huh? No I also don't know why no one else thought it was cliche. It just felt overdone. (In case you were wondering, yes, Oprah replays at 2 am in Pittsburgh which is why I always see it even though I'm usually asleep by the time it comes on in the afternoon.)

I know they don't exactly teach black history in schools beyond slavery and MLK but I was hoping the person I was talking to would be able to understand. I don't assume because you're white that you don't know anything about black people and MLK. I mean come on. He has his own holiday. I can't even get a little "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"? Is that not powerful as well and still pretty well-known? It has its own wikipedia page! I do not profess to be an MLK expert, but perhaps, just once, we can, I don't know EDUCATE SOME PEOPLE, and get something about him ON HIS DAY outside of that famous speech. I know. I'm sooo picky.

Tomorrow is TGIF and I'm buying a whole case of Honey Brown and seeing how long it takes me to drink it. A week? Cross your fingers.


Sparkling Red said...

The Toronto Board of Education is in the middle of huge controversies at the moment, over whether or not some of our schools should have a black-focused curriculum. What do you think of that idea? Some people think it would create a sense of segregation, but others think it's important to teach black history in detail. Like MLK.

the joy said...

You should watch CNN siu, mlk in his own words. I think that's the name. You can look it up on imdb.com... It was really good.

Sandy C. said...

I couldn't agree more...I got the sentence, "But it's such a monumental speech," she responds..and I started the eye roll.

A bit of a more in-depth look into this man's life and accomplishments need to be highlighted, beyond the speech would be great.

I've never tried honey brown! I clicked and liked what I saw....maybe one day I'll be brave and buy me some ;)

Stacie von Kutieboots said...

we are here. i think MLK and Rosa are overdone. there is soooooo much more to civil rights than those two and there is so much more to MLK that "I Have a Dream"

X Factor said...

"I think MLK and Rosa are overdone." **pause** Okay. Gotta respect your gangsta!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

invite me over, i mea honey brown beeer

Anonymous said...

Every year around this time...I thank the good Lord for being a proud graduate of Belmar Elementary School (RIP) and Westinghouse High School, C/O 1988.

And having a Pastor growing up who was Afrocentric LOOOOONG before being Afrocentric in church was cool.

Did i ever mention spending a WEEK with Jeremiah Wright as a high school kid and being exposed to Liberation theology?


I would put up my Black History and US History education up against ANYONE.

CNEL said...

I didn't watch it this go around but CNN's Words That Changed A Nation was pretty well done. Soledad O'Brien tried to look and contexualize the King papers in a never before seen look.

I think its wild he and Coretta are about to get their first grandchild, when I heard that, I couldn't help but wonder what they'd think of the world that grandchild will inherit.

Liz said...

I totally agree. He gave so many great speeches, but was also a man of action. The "I Have a Dream" speech has become such the standard marketing tool.

jameil1922 said...

Red... it needs not be optional. that's what pisses me off. more than black people need to be aware of the contributions to society beyond mlk, rosa parks and slavery.

joy... i only saw part of it. cnn drives me bananas with its coverage. the good stuff is on at the most obscure times i.e. when i likely can't see it b/c i'm working or sleeping.

sandy... wack right? honey brown is yummmmmmy.

x... pretty sure what stace means is that it goes beyond mlk and rosa parks and she's tired of the lip service to the civil rights movement revolving around some cursory use of those names. yes stace?

torr.... come on!

ink... that's cool.

cnel... i didn't hear that.

liz... EXACTLY.

Sparkling Red said...

Yeah, I didn't even learn the basics until I took a couple of black history courses in university. There was no such thing in my high school. Half the students were white and half were asian, but of course we only got British/white history. That's all anyone got, regardless of the make-up of the student body.

Rell said...

Letter from Birmingham Jail, in my opinion, is one of the most influential writings post-reconstruction.

If people actually take time to read it and understand it, they'll be amazed at the level of writing King writes on.

It's insane...

jameil1922 said...

red... same in the states. my mom sent us to summer camps and has us participate in a number of black cultural programs. thank God for that or I'd know nothing about my people!!

rell... Letter from Birmingham Jail is my joint!! the first time i read it i was like why are people so obsessed w/the dream speech?? this is amazing!!

yet another black guy said...

thank goodness i'm not alone on that sentiment.