Dear Dr. King by Angenita Williams


Dear Dr. King,

On this twenty-seventh anniversary of celebrating your birth, I think about what you gave so that my children and I could go to school where we wanted, eat where we wanted, and be afforded the same opportunities of our Caucasian brothers and sisters. You died so future generations could live. You preached non-violence. You got things done for oppressed people. I salute you.

Dr. King, I know it was hectic for you. I know that it takes a person who is extremely strong in nature to do what you did. You fought with your words and your spirit, rather than your fists. You sacrificed the life of a quiet pastor to ensure that everyone was treated equally. You were away from your family a lot, and Coretta, Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter, and Bernice missed you. Your mother and father adored you. They were understanding in your fight; they were so unselfish to let us have you. For that, I thank them.

Dr. King, we have Black President. Yes, we do. Your work gave us a Black President. And as we celebrate your birth, he is inaugurated for a second term. There are people who really don’t like him, and they let him know it. But he believes in what he’s doing, and although I don’t always agree with him, I stand behind him.

But, Dr. King, we are in trouble. Although your work afforded us with opportunity, it’s gone awry. We have young men planting seeds and not watching them grow. We have young women more than willing to be the soil for which those seeds are planted, without the sustenance to have those seeds grow. We have children in an age where everything is given, nothing is earned. We have people dying due to violence. We have people threatening violence for something as common sense as gun control. We have leaders who basically want nothing to do with our President based on the color of his skin, instead of the content of his character. And even though you worked so hard, and you died trying to end it, racism still exists. Poverty is still rampant. The powers that be want to keep the poor at a disadvantage. They want to take the small things that the poor are given. They don’t believe it is a civic duty to assist those in need. So, Dr. King, you worked so hard, but we have so much further to go.

Your legacy is one that will never be forgotten. It will be appreciated by generations to come, although they really don’t understand the ultimate sacrifice that you made for us all. Those who wanted segregation to last didn’t get that if we all were equal, we could all strive and make something out of our lives. The better the oppressed do, the better the country does. And Dr. King, they still don’t get it.

I watch a movie dedicated to your life and your story yesterday. I discussed it with my daughter. She had a ton of questions that I tried my best to answer about you, your life, your family, and most of all the movement. We discussed you, Mr. Evers, Mr. John Kennedy, Mr. Robert Kennedy, Mr. Hoover, Mr. Connor, Mr. Wallace, Mr. Young, and Mr. Shuttlesworth. We discussed the four little girls who died. We discussed the hoses and the dogs. We talked about COINTELPRO. We talked about Mr. Ray, your assassin.

Dr. King, I know you see what’s going on. I know this is not what you had in mind. I know this probably disappoints you. But, I will try to uplift those in my community. I will try to instill the action of forgiveness and healing. Your spirit keeps us going, striving to new heights. I hope that one day, you can be overly proud of the America you worked so hard to change.

Lastly, I just want to say happy birthday.




2 comments so far

  1. Harrison L. Page on

    A Wonderful letter to a great civil leader and a dreamer for justice and equality for all.

  2. indytony on

    Thank you for the very personal and encouraging letter. It is quite a tribute to a man who has clearly deeply inspired you. I was glad to read it on this special day.

    I chose to write today on the racism that was and still is prevalent among some white Midwesterners. It’s called “Was He Only Dreaming?: Hoosier Perspectives on Martin Luther King”. I’d love for you to check it out and tell me what you think.

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