I walked into the Lorraine Motel, and chills ran down my body as I visited the now-museum and place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. walked out on a balcony to die.
As I walked through this monument of what I deemed as history for myself, I noticed that to other museum visitors, this was new to them, learning what others had gone through.
I thought about how this is not just history, but that this is still what we live through today. The disparities of discriminatory practices. The mentality of us and them. The brutality that’s justified through law enforcement officials.
I was overcome with emotion as Mahalia Jackson sang “Precious Lord,” and I looked out on the balcony where King stood in front of Room 306, as I saw coffee half drunk and cigarettes half smoked in an ashtray. In that moment, I realized how much Dr. King and I were alike, how we dreamed of a world that treated us fairly not because of enviable rights or because it was forced through amendments, but because it was the right thing to do.
Tears streamed from my eyes as my heart beat increased, and as I realized that a king was killed in the same spot that I held in my cornea, but more importantly a dream died that day.
I, who feel firm in myself, still struggle with my identity of being Black in a world that’s so biased against color. Now, because King lived, I operate in hope, but because he died so did my sense of hope –– confusing, I know, but a dream deferred also confuses me.
It is agreed that I can choose to eat at any lunch counter I want or can I? I can go to any school I want or can I? I can work at any company I want or can I? I can travel anywhere in this United States of America I want or can I?
This is not about Trump, or Bull Connor or Jim Crow. This is about killing dreams –– the reason King was shot, the reason JFK was shot. I realized that as much as those who dream, there are also dream killers. I yearn for an America where we no longer need museums to remind us of what still exists. I yearn for an America where we are not so adversarial that this is a continued reality for most of us in this America that is the land of the free for most.
I dream the dream of the king whose life ceased at the Lorraine Motel that spring day. This is what motivates me with tears in my eyes to know I will not allow anyone to kill the dream that will take us to the next level of consciousness for change for all.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. One dream at a time.
Food for thought keeping it real.