Legacy in the Flesh

Posted: January 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

Martin Luther King III

The 20th annual Columbia Values Diversity Celebration was held this morning, a schedule change from the typical Martin Luther King, Jr. day. This year’s gathering included a knock-down community gospel choir with narratives from the life of Dr. King. In addition, and as a real treat, the eldest son of Dr. King, Martin Luther King III, was the speaker. In my mind, the fact that he is neither the luminary nor orator his father was is quite beside the point. Really, who could be? Rather, he functions as a kind of walking symbol, the carrier of his parents’ legacy.

As he recast some of the vision of his father we were reminded that though we have made headway on issues of race, there is always room for growth. Poverty and all it cousins, on the other hand, is just as dire as ever. Issues of war and peace continue to plague us. And our culture of violence has continued to gather its feverish steam. Mix in lots and lots of guns into a culture of violence like ours and you have a formula for disaster.

It pleased me that the organizational diversity award was given to Job Point, a group that focuses on locating meaningful work for persons with disabilities. Our recognition of and inclusion of vast diversity in our society must include race, religion, class … but also the way we view and include those with disabilities. Such battles are slow to come and even slower to win. But with legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act and even smaller scale efforts like our own All God’s Children, progress is made – one small step at a time.

  1. Audie says:

    Thank you for being at the diversity breakfast and representing so many who agree that we must do more. Having Dr. King’s son and namesake is unbelievable. He could have been so many other places besides Columbia, Missouri. How very fortunate!

  2. NMiller says:

    And step by step is how it happens–we just have to remember to stand first, then keep moving…complacency is the foe.

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