MLK Jr. Day–Learning to Listen

Tomorrow is MLK Jr. Day. I plan on doing two things in order to make the most of it:

(1) Most importantly, I plan on listening to MLK Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. I have done this for a few years and have found it beneficial. Sometimes I pay attention to the makeup of the crowd, other times I try to think about the Biblical precursors underlying his speech (sometimes these are obvious because they are explicit quotes), etc. But the goal isn’t to simply to learn facts, but to be changed and shaped into the type of person who would be part of the struggle that MLK Jr. was part of.

(2) Second, I plan on starting Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. That book has been described in a lot of different ways, some very positive and others very negative. If you want a taste, just go browse some of the reviews. I think it would be easy for me to read it so that I can say that I read it and not actually listen to what Coates has to say. That way I can claim to be “enlightened” and care about social justice issues and thereby be superior to all of these racist people that don’t get it, but really I would just be going through the motions. I don’t really care much for that, so I am going to try and listen, try and open myself up to what he has to say, especially if it is uncomfortable to hear. I probably end up blogging about the book at some point, but we will see.

I hope you will at least listen to MLK Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech and see if it doesn’t make you into a better person.


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