Martin Luther King was a pioneer, a civil rights activist, and many more honorable things. One part of his famous speech particularly stands out in my mind on this day we try to honor his work and legacy. It is:
“…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…”
There has been a lot of progress since then and a lot more to go because our great nation is still facing discrimination on all levels while many activists are raising awareness to keep his dream alive, true or simply fulfill it.
Having said that, we shouldn’t fall in the traps of the holy trinity of African-American history that only honors a handful of really well-known African Americans such as Dr. King, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman. Every once in a while others such as Carter G. Woodson, Maya Angelou, Federick Douglas amongst others will also be mentioned especially as we approach Black History Month.
On this day, let’s honor Dr. King’s predecessors, peers and many of his unsung legacy who also made and make it possible for America to have groundbreaking changes. Some of them include:
WARITH DEEN MOHAMMED
Warith Deen Mohammed was muslim and the son of Clara Muhammad. A world peace pioneer, he fought for racial unity as well.
Mohammad Ali doesn’t need any introduction and his support to the civil rights movement was major. His funeral was the epitome of unity he had advocated and portrayed his whole life on all levels as testaments from people of all faith poured in leaving us with teary eyes.
On this day, Malcom X deserves to be mentioned for his work too. Though Dr. King and him didn’t always see eye to eye, they weren’t that different in what they wanted for the human race; equality and fair treatment.
He is perhaps the most well-known Latino civil rights activist in America. Even though there is a day designated for him; March 31st which is only observed in a handful of American states, this pioneer needs to be mentioned because part of his inspiration came from Dr. King. Chavez was also the first to coin the slogan ‘Yes, it can be done’ paraphrased and revived by the Obama administration.
GWENDOLYN ZOHARAH SIMMONS
A Muslim scholar with a Ph.D. in religion, she contributed in the civil rights movement during the 60s especially in the Southern states of America. Look her up to feel a glimpse of inspiration.
GRACE LEE BOGGS
Boggs was a feminist, an activist, and an American author of Chinese descent. A friend to both Dr. King and Malcom X, she followed more in the steps of Dr. King’s strategies. She constantly denounced racial and economic injustice because she loved America like all the activists before and after her. They want change.
Abdullah-Poulos is the founder of NbA Muslims (Native-born American Muslims). Her work is pivotal as it highlights the societal issues all minorities in this great country still face. She is revolutionary!