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It has been 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King; Did he die in vain?

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It has been 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King was taken from the world on that fateful day in 1968.

Over the last 5 decades, civil rights activists have fought to keep Dr. King’s message alive, but the current political climate fostering hate, fear and separation has proven how fragile not only our democracy is, but how fragile our policies are.

Congressman John Lewis said:

When he died, I think something died in all of us. Something died in America.  Each day I think we must find a way to dream the dream that he dreamed, and build on what he left all of us.

He’s right.

Did he die in vain?  The answer has a caveat.

We are at a turning point in our Country and with our  Democracy. Segregation, voter suppression and the dumbing down of our children is becoming the new normal.

“Still I rise.”

Women are subjugated, abused, assaulted and then labeled temptress.

“Still I rise.”

If we continue to sit on the sidelines then the answer is yes.  However if we chose to do SOMETHING, his hope and dreams will continue to live on in each of us.

Still WE rise.

Today is also Maya Angelou’s Birthday.  She would have been 90 today.  This poem has never been more poignant.

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou1928 – 2014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.