Tuesday, April 04, 2006


when they shot you, you were away from home preparing for more movement, more agitation, more progress. we miss that spirit. the one that would allow you to put on a brave face and sacrifice to get what needed to be done, done. we compare anyone with promise to you nowadays. your name gets mentioned in conversations about freedom and courage and peace and faith, not just here at home but worldwide. every year when i look at the date, i remember you in a more somber and important way than the day i get off work. sometimes your memory gets compared to your contemporaries, and criticisms surface about your methods - the time it took, the pain that was endured by so many patient sufferers. but i think, sometimes, it took more strength to do it your way. it was worthy of my respect - our respect. there was dignity in the suffering and nobility in the losses that people caught along the way. it was imperfect, but not ineffective. you understood that mercy would intervene and shame would change them. just like you understood that hatred would strike back eventually, and that your own fate, your own family's fate, would depend on your God - my God... and it did strike back, thirty-eight years ago today. i could say that i am who i am partly because of your work, but it's really bigger than me. we are who we are - not just me or my family or black people but american society - partly because of your work. you left this earth better than it was when you found it, to the extent God blessed you with the ability to change it, and that is so very admirable. thanks so much. we thank God for what He did through you. and for the judgment you used to pick a wife who would keep pushing for recognition of your legacy, so that we wouldn't forget what happened and why. rest in peace, the both of you. insomuch as anyone is willing to do what they must to end injustice, and ordinary people make this decision every day, your efforts and your death were not in vain.