Letter: Celebration of King’s legacy thought-provoking experience

From: Michael Greven


My sincere thanks to Black Lives Matter for hosting a powerful evening celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Unitarian Universalist Church on the evening of Jan. 16. The speakers engaged with us in a number of different ways, including spoken word poetry, personal experiences and education concerning the influences on King and the civil rights movement, as well as the impact of King and the movement on society. I left with a much better appreciation for the pain inflicted on people of color years ago as well as today.

King was important years ago as he worked tirelessly to demand that America come to grips with its hypocrisy. Today his voice should be heard by each and every American. It is incumbent upon all of us to face the challenges of race relations by respecting one another fully and celebrating our cultural differences. White Americans have the further challenge of accepting the fact that for far too long we have maligned and marginalized many black Americans and for that matter Americans of color. We must listen and learn as we do the difficult work of recognizing our mistakes, for they are myriad and often very subtle. An example of this would be the manner in which history is taught to our schoolchildren. How often are texts provided that focus on the contribution of blacks and people of color?

We are all here together, and it is together that we should chart a course to ensuring that all people have fulfilling lives. Thanks again to the Columbus area Black Lives Matter organization for working to make sure this discussion takes place.