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Tanya M. Wilson


I was only twelve when news of Dr. King’s assassination flashed across our tiny black and white television in the kitchen. At the time, our family was living in Washington D.C. in a small apartment on Chaplin Street. I can still hear the cries of disbelief bellowing throughout the neighborhood. The rage and anger felt by the people resulted in riotous burnings across the nation.

When I remember that Dr. King was only 39 at the time of his death, I can’t help but admire all that he accomplished in just those few years. It speaks volumes toward being in touch and knowing what you are called to do. Against the odds, lacking conveniences, facing threats, he stayed committed and determined in his call. Sure he was not alone, there were others with him, but the leadership that came through him was focused and strong enough to instill hope into millions.

Often times in today’s society, if we don’t see things go in the direction we want them to go quickly, we throw up our hands and move on. Many times leaders don’t stop and think beyond themselves when it comes to instilling hope into others. The issues of today may not be all the same, but there is still a need for unity of approach that is not selfish and self centered. There is still a need for courage and determination that should reach our children. Perhaps the greatest birthday gift we could give Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is the gift of remembrance and appreciation. Lastly the gift of modeling the behavior of a leader of change that is committed to leading others in truth. The same God that saw our people through during that time is the same God that sits on the throne today. His promise is still there, we need to grab on tight and continue toward the victory.

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

Read more columns by Tanya Wilson, an inspirational speaker based in Charlotte. Find her on Facebook.

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