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The question is, "Why doesn't anyone ever quote these words?" Really, why doesn't anyone? Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on how no document, law, mandate or government allowance, will make you believe and know the value of yourself.
"If the Negro is to be free, he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul, and sign with the pen and ink of self-asserted manhood, his own emancipation proclamation."
There was a time when African Americans in this country were united. United in the idea and dream that through struggle and strife there would be salvation. That our pain would lead to promise, of a better life and a better way. Where did we stray?
Dr. King addressed the pride and beauty of being black, regardless of the label or thought, that was trying to be imposed upon us. He went on to point out that all things associated with black in America were; dirty, evil, or sinister. Yet all things white were to be seen as; pure, clean, and virtuous. That blacks in America were being taught and trained to look down on themselves.
Why isn't this quoted? Why isn't the lesson of personal responsibility, the value of manhood and self worth, recited over and over again?
African American males in this country are given nearly Vegas odds to be successful. 70% of all black males in America will have been in either jail or prison by the age of 30. 70% of all black children in America are born out of wedlock. African American males make up nearly 6% of the nation's population, yet make up over 30% of the prison population. Sounds like at least a few could benefit from those words. Seems like maybe one or two people need to hear about the signifigance of self respect and the importance of manhood.
Not just young, but all African Americans in the United States need to hear this. Know that as individuals, we have to stand up. Know that it's within ourselves to rise above our situations, to be stronger than our circumstances and determined to beat our detriment.
Remove the idea of being "saved". No state issued check or government bail out will bring us the freedom to stand up. No dollar amount is worth our manhood, our self worth, our pride. Like a puppet coming to life, by cutting the strings we may fall down. But if we our resilient, we will rise.
Dr. King may be best known for his "Dream", but if we are truly to be "free at last", we MUST accept responsibility for our own lives. Walking and carrying ourselves with the pride, strength, and dignity, necessary to be successful, to survive.
"Don't let anybody take your manhood."
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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