Our youth offer promise

Photo of William T. Robinson Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

During the celebratory programs taking place during the Martin Luther King Holiday and the inauguration of President Barrack Hussein Obama, I was impressed with the talents I saw manifested in so many of our youth. It was a privilege to be entertained by the annual Martin Luther King Youth program at Jefferson Street Missionary Church pastured by Tex Thomas.

I was literally wooed by the extraordinary talent presented by so many young school age students here in our communities. The audience was privy to a young girl presenting a powerful oratory with dance, an awesome gospel rap group, and a boy’s choir from Tennessee State University. The crowd was spellbound by two female singers, one eight years old and one 12 years old. You knew they were destined for greatness. There was so much more talent present and all of it was commendable. I guess what amazed me most was the confidence exuding from such young performers. It was a reminder that our children have the ability to be whatever they choose and only need to be nurtured and guided by people who love them. Thus the dream can be realized if the world could see and embrace the beauty and talent that I see in our African American children—the dream that our children be given the resources and opportunity to be all they can be. The only limitations are the limitations they put on themselves, because theirs is a world of unparalleled possibilities.

Our children must be able to live in a world where they are accepted due to their character and the love they so inherently possess. They must come to live in a world where their beauty and integrity as human beings are naturally appreciated. They must come to live in a world where they are accepted as anyone’s equal—not subjected to any decimating status. That is the dream manifested that Martin sought to bring about. This omnipresent love must not only encompass those of African descent, but any group of people who are marginalized and unfairly treated.

Many would argue that only one day is not enough to honor and acknowledge the achievements and accomplishments of such an extraordinary man. It should be an ongoing and daily task. All children should be continuously taught and exposed to the dream and how they can help bring the dream about.

I was happy to see some White families and other races participating in ceremonies and activities honoring Martin Luther King. But they were few when you take in consideration that this was a national holiday and students didn’t have to attend school. The main emphasis of the Martin Luther King Holiday should be in the beauty of people of all races, ethnic groups, and cultures coming together to truly unite in a bond of brotherhood promoting love, equality, truth and justice.

Children are born innocent—void of hate and prejudice. They only manifest what they are taught in their homes or environment. Let’s us all work to teach our children to love and respect each other, putting truth and justice first. The children are waiting to be fed. Their future depends on what we choose to feed them. I for one choose to feed them love for themselves and their fellow man and watch the dream unfold. Our older children must be taught the truth of a history of hate and inequality, so they can go forward refusing to succumb to the practices of the past. As they say, the truth will set you free. We owe our children the truth. They will take it from there. I think they will make us proud.