Back in the early 1940s, a pre-teen named Mike decided to sneak out of his house and attend a parade against his parents’ wishes.
Now this was not good. In addition to disobeying his parents, he was supposed to be home watching his six-year old little brother.
Unfortunately, for Mike and his family, the story takes a tragic turn from here. While the twelve-year old enjoyed the parade, his little brother accidentally knocked their grandmother unconscious while sliding down a bannister.
Sadly, their grandmother would subsequently die from a heart attack largely unrelated to the accident. However, this wouldn’t stop the young Mike from associating his actions with his grandmother’s death.
Guilt-ridden and distraught–and unable to sleep for days–the troubled twelve-year old climbed the stairs of his two-story house and leapt from a bedroom window in an attempted suicide.
Thankfully, Michael made it through the episode without major injury and thankfully, for the rest of us, Michael survived, became a pastor like his father and–also like his father Michael Sr.–decided to adopt the name of a historic religious reformer… Martin.
Yes, the boy born Michael King Jr., became Martin Luther King Jr. and the rest, as they say is, indeed, history.
Today, of course, is the 45th anniversary of King’s assassination. I don’t want to focus on his death but, instead, I want to acknowledge how far he traveled from that suicidal boy to become the first U.S. citizen to have a national holiday named for him, quite the journey.
You see, while Dr. King was an American icon, he was also just a man and like the rest of us, he had many doubts and fears.
During some of the many dark days of the Civil Rights movement, Dr. King was even known to have bouts with depression and, yes, he had to pick himself up and find the faith and motivation to keep moving.
I bring this up today to say that, as we commemorate the remarkable life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we should acknowledge and celebrate his humanity as much as his legend.
In doing so, we can see that his brief life is a testament to how love, hope and faith can overcome insecurity, doubt and fear to transform one man, one troubled nation, and one needy world.
So today, on this 45th anniversary of his home-going, let’s celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. not for his iconic international status, but for his common humanity, a humanity that lets us know that we all can overcome doubt, insecurity and fear to make the impossible, possible.
I’ll leave you with these words from Dr. King:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30