I spoke this past weekend at a rally dedicated to Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington the theme as advertised was “Remembering Dr. King’s Dream! Honoring the lives of those lost in our community to violence! Uniting the community”. When I was asked I eagerly agreed but soon after I realized there was a question I did not have an answer to… What do I say?
First of all I am not an activist nor am I a student of the history of the civil rights movement. So I was a little at a loss when I started thinking about what I was going to say.
I decided to split the speech into two parts. The first part being about my personal feelings of ineptitude. The second part I devoted to focusing on social matters that I believe are necessary to address if we want to see true growth in our society.
After I delivered the speech I got many many compliments. I do not know if it was recorded but I decided to publish a text based on what notes I jotted down beforehand. This is not the speech word for word but gives you the idea of the intent
I don’t know why I’m here. Let me let all of you in on something, I am just a poor ole white boy from Rock Hill SC. I do not come from a family whose name carries any weight or influence. I don’t not have money, prestige or influence attached to my name. I am not a man of note in the arena of politics or business nor do I have any aspirations or ambitions to rise in the ranks of those arenas. I am not a mover or a shaker in the realm of civil rights or social justice. I am simple man who serves the Lord at a small church that most people would never take notice of if they didn’t live down the street from it. And yet time and time again I am invited to speak at events such as these. I don’t know why I am here. Do not misunderstand me I accepted the offer to be here because I consider it a great privilege, but what I don’t understand is why they ask me. I am a nobody. But then I consider the reason we have gathered here to day and the cause that Dr King fought so hard for and I believe I begin to gain some understanding and I think that Dr King would be quite pleased. For you see, perhaps I am here based solely on the content of my character and nothing else.
I have long admired Dr King for many reasons but there is one reason that stands out above all the rest. As Dr King was a dreamer, I too am a dreamer and as a dreamer let me tell you how you honor a dreamer. many have worked tirelessly to see that Dr King’s dream was pursued and achieved and we have come a long way but we also have a long way to go. But the true way to honor the legacy of a dreamer is not to simply champion their dream the greatest way a dreamer can be honored is by their dreams and legacy inspiring others to dream as well. I dream dreams.