In an assembly of community leaders, city dignitaries, state officials and brethren at Grace Episcopal Church in downtown Newark, the 21st Annual “Sing in Praise of King” service recognized the progressive shift towards actualizing Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream. During a time when economic, environmental and social anxiety is plaguing Americans, new found hope is as sweeping as fiber optics technology. A call for individual accountability, keynote speaker Forrest Whitaker asks, “…how do we make ourselves clear enough and clean enough to manifest the things that won’t sabotage our destiny?” The answer in principle is simple. Realize that as an individual with a concept, goal, plan and determination anything is possible.
On January 20th 2009, Martin Luther King’s dream will become so tangible that ‘…one nation, under God, indivisible…’ is not rhetoric but reality. The assassination of MLK was a sobering moment in America, but it triggered a time where Americans galvanized under a common feeling and cause. Although the past eight years were oblique and weary, they brought us to a time where we can appreciate promising opportunities.
As Newark Mayor Cory Booker pointed out, there are circumstances beyond our control; but it is in those moments where we heighten the legacy of King. “We have machines that can fly around the globe,” said Booker, “but it takes a miracle on the Hudson River to remind us that we may take the plane up, but when the engines go out it is the determination of human kind and the God that we love that will bring that plane down and will have people walking away.
MLK’s dream society was not simply one of racial tolerance, but also religious, political and educational inclusion and equity. The responsibility of moving Newark, New Jersey and the rest of the nation forward comes from active participation from the people. Through respectful conversation and peaceful debates we will work as a team to build on a dream. “This is the day and age in which we live,” said Booker, “this is the legacy of a King.”