Monday, February 27, 2012

Knowledge Is (Still) Power

"Steve Jobs did more for me than Martin Luther King."

One day, I was perusing Twitter and found the aforementioned quote. My face grew hot as I thought about the ramifications of this statement, made by a young Black man, no more than 20 years of age.

In his own right, Steve Jobs was indeed a great man. This self-professed college dropout took the technological world by storm, leaving behind a legacy which will always be synonymous with the words Apple, iPod and iPhone.

But he was no Martin Luther King.

I wanted to reach through my phone and grab this young man's hand, taking him on a journey through our history. I would take him to restaurants, malls and movie theaters,where we would only be allowed to use back entrances (if we were allowed entry at all). I would show him all of the major businesses and corporations; Fortune 500 companies where the only title we could aspire to have was janitor. I would take him back to those scary moments when the Greenwood section of Tulsa was set on fire; when men were beaten and hung just for looking at someone the wrong way; when churches were bombed and little girls were murdered in their Sunday best; when every night was spent in fear, unsure of what violence the moonlight would bring.

I would show him my ancestors--his ancestors--down on their knees, simply praying for a better day.

As Black History Month draws to a close, it is time for us to look back once more. We must remember the men and women who dreamed, created, achieved and sacrificed; we must honor them by building on their legacy and not becoming complacent. Many doors have been opened and glass ceilings shattered, but there are more doors and ceilings to be addressed.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.
--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Freedom, change and equality. These basic tenets of humanity will always trump an iPhone.

Be Encouraged,


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