I was moved by the reminiscence of a dream, through a speech-like homily made by one Mr. Clarence Bryant, who stood behind the podium, conveying his thoughts to the rest of the congregation listening to his notes. He recalled that he was 32 years of age, that 28th day of August, 1963, minding his own personal objectives trying to develop his career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a Systems Electronic Engineer. His parents’ attention, however, were stuck on a broadcast, listening to a bold and frightening advocacy and “pursuit of happiness” of one daring and fearless man: Dr, King. Ironically though, Clarence, who expressed that he was radical at that point in his life, thought that Mr. Luther King was ‘soft’. But little did Clarence know that 50 years later, he, himself would benefit from this culmination of an aspiration, and we, would all be witnesses thereof. Alas, the dream was not his, but that of the famous King, whose name is iconic to freedom, to the strict sense of its meaning. But we know that we all share the hope of such dream as we claim it to be ‘ours’ as well.
“I have a dream“… Clarence read an excerpt from the ‘popular speech’ historically delivered that day at Lincoln Memorial 5 decades ago, but out of my ignorance, of the true essence of Martin Luther’s connotation, I simply share the aspiration of an ‘American Dream’, needing to blend in, without being discriminated professionally when I first stepped foot as a foreign worker. However, my shallow definition and understanding of his dream is now clearer as Clarence explicitly reviewed me with such emphatic definition: “a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”.
“We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal”. I looked back to see Clarence’s audience wiping their tears of joy. Believe me, this visual moved me – that moment – to be drawn into ‘feeling and relating’, closing my eyes to imagine how they have probably experienced themselves, their parents’ and their families in their youth the ‘first hand’ experience of ‘social alienation’. I felt ashamed of such ignorance, yet thankful for the clarity I now perceive.
Then Clarence looked straight up at the audience as he read his own composition: “Today, the dream has become a reality as the country awaits the second inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America, an African American – Barack Obama – and we now honor the legacy of Dr. King”. He paused and we all knew how he felt and shared his moment.
“This is our Hope”. Clarence went on, reminding everyone of the popular quote “with this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to stand up for freedom together…” again pausing, to finish his notes with his own sentiments “Brothers and sisters, this is our moment.” There was silence, and the emotional moment furthered with the angelic voice of Patricia, through the rendition of a song in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Let freedom ring”… it did and it does indeed in my head – our heads – loud and proud… let it not falter however, as we look forward with optimism, as the expectation of its continuity will only have two directions to go (positive or negative), for what comes after a culmination? And as a believer of fate, we patiently wait for ours, with hope – for the good; and without implying that this article is solely about DrMLK’s dream nor BO’s swearing in, while admittedly, this – has truly paved most of the way, I bring to the table the rest of the other culture’s pursuit of their own dreams here in the United States of America… the dream to be given the right to fulfill one’s own aspiration; “go for it” then, without being hindered to pursue your own dreams’ culmination…