It's hard to believe that it was 40 years ago when Martin Luther King was felled by an assassin's bullet. I was a nineteen year old college student at the time. I just finished my last class and was walking to the cafeteria for dinner. My roommate told me that King was killed.
I do remember a flash of anger surged through me. I could have lashed out like many did in the ensuing riots that followed. I chose not to follw the same path because it would lower me to the level of those who wished him dead. I remember a number of white students telling me personally how sorry they were about what happened. Looking at the hurt in their faces, they were sincere and heartbroken. There were memorial services on campus and it was quite evident that may people were hurting and grieving. King's assassination was the fourth within five years. John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Malcolm X suffered the same fate.
Fast forward 40 years. While many gains have been made, there's still much to be done. Where are the dynamic leaders? More importantly, where are those people who will roll up their sleeves and get down to the hard work of affecting life changing decisions. It starts with each and every one of us. I am at the point in my life that I want to make a difference. I will be teaching soon. I'm currently involved in a couple of projects in which I pray that will generate interest and activity towards improving the lives of others. It is important to get the people who are affected by injustice involved in the problem solving process.
I will always be grateful to Dr. King for his courage and conviction to do what was right. It is our duty to do what is right despite those who would interfere or stop us altogether. As a transgender and an African-American, I will do what is right in his sight. Working to improve the lives of my LGBTQI sisters and brothers is one of my goals. Like Dr. King, I must do what is right.