Pictureimage courtesy of uploadfreeimages.com
On this day, that we honor the legacy of a man who stood for peace and for what was right, I am also reminded of all the sacrifices that were made not only by Dr. King, but also by the many men and women of the Civil Rights Movement. People such as, John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Rosa Parks, Ralph D. Abernathy, Diane Nash and Dr. C.T. Vivian, just to name a few. Many of these young men and women made a conscious choice to stand against what was wrong even if it meant risking physical harm or even faced with death. Can you imagine the type of courage that it took? Dr. King is quoted as saying that, "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." This resonates with me, as being a very poignant and thought provoking question given the racial climate that we live in today. This is also a question for our everyday lives. I myself, am challenged on a daily basis and how I choose to respond in the face of those challenges, can make all the difference with regards to walking in peace or in constant turmoil.

PicturePhotograph courtesy of the Alabama Historical Commission
Evidence of just how this challenge was faced, can be seen played out in real life, during the Civil Rights Movement. Just this past weekend, I had the pleasure of viewing the movie "Selma" that was inspired by and based on the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights, which is known as a pivotal and emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement. The three marches that took place, in an effort to gain the right to vote for Black Americans, is a powerful testimony in which the challenges of hatred were met with PEACE! Although, there were moments that were difficult and upsetting to watch, I found the movie to be enlightening as well as educational. I must applaud the writers and the especially the director, Ava DuVernay, for her vision, but more importantly for her courage to present, the sometimes ugly truth about the journey and the struggle, that eventually led to the passing of the Voters Right Act of 1965.

What I also loved about the movie, that it pointed out the human side of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his personal and emotional struggles. What do I mean? Well, I am not disputing the fact, that Dr. King is one of the greatest moral leaders of our time, however, we often times forget that he was a man with the same imperfections that we all struggle with from time to time. He was a man that wanted to do God's will but needed God's help to do it. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of emotional and personal struggles that he and his family had to endure, all in the name of justice and freedom.

PictureMe and Dr. C.T. Vivian, 2013 interview in his Atlanta home.
This movie also educated us, about some of the other key players or unsung heroes in the struggle, that were instrumental in bringing about change along side of Dr. King. It solidified in my mind, that had it not been for many of these men and women of courage, and their willingness to stand side by side with Dr. King, many of the rights and freedoms that we have come to often take for granted today, would not have come to pass. One of those individuals, portrayed in the movie, is Civil Rights Living Legend, Dr. C.T. Vivian. In early 2013, my partners and I, had the distinct honor and pleasure of meeting and interviewing Dr. Vivian in his Atlanta home. It is a moment that I will not forget! I can not begin to tell you how profound and sharp (not to mention handsome) he is! His spirit exudes a type of peace that can't be explained in words. I did my best to soak up the knowledge and wisdom that he shared with me during the interview. So just imagine how humbled I felt, when Dr. Vivian complimented me on the creation of "There is Life After Layoff" and the fact that it is a much needed forum! All glory goes to God, which is what I shared with Dr. Vivian, for trusting me with the vision. Nonetheless, Dr. Vivian's kind words of encouragement also gave me an extra boost of confidence in knowing that I too have a responsibility. That responsibility is to choose to live a life of "Peace" even in the face of adversity and challenge while fulfilling my destiny by inspiring others to discover and walk in their purpose!

Thank you for your sacrifices!



01/19/2015 5:47pm

This is a beautiful and well-timed post. Having grown up in the Northeast, it's hard to believe that the 1965 Civil Rights Movement occurred during my life time. We still have a long way to go in this country and in the world, in terms of civil rights and human rights, but we are all one, and indeed, we will get there because the alternative, in today's world, will not benefit anyone. I love the quote by Martin Luther King Jr. that you used at the top of the page.

01/20/2015 8:46am

Thank you so much for your kinds words. Yes, I know the feeling, I too was born during the time of the movement and it is so unbelievable. We really do have a ways to go but I am hopeful!

01/19/2015 6:09pm

Beautiful tribute Alicia.
What an inspiration that man was to the world.
So often I hear his passionate words, "I have a dream' when the going gets rough and I need a challenge and a reminder how small my problems are.
But mostly, he taught us all to never ever give up your dream, whatever it may be.

01/20/2015 8:49am

Thank you for your kind words. Yes he was such an inspiration and continues to be one to this very day! I just hope and pray that people pay attention!

01/19/2015 7:53pm

Beautiful post...and I agree that we have a way to go, but we have come a long way too thanks to the beauty of this man and his honest and authentic intentions

01/20/2015 8:50am

Thank you for your kind words! Dr. King was and is truly an inspiration for us all.

Regina Porter
01/20/2015 8:57am

Thank you for your post!!! What awesome words of encouragement. Drs. MLK and CT Vivian have sacrificially giving of themselves. May we continue to love, live, and give in that same spirit.

01/20/2015 9:01am

Thank you for your support! Both Dr. King and Dr. Vivian are true examples of courage and peace that we should all learn from!


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