Saturday, June 26, 2010
The King & I
In addition to this blog being set-up to meet one of our primary objectives, which is to "Tackle everyday issues from a godly perspective, " it is also designed to give our readers a bit of peak into my life. In our blogs we endeavor to periodically give you a candid look at some of our likes, dislikes, influences, role models, and pet peeves among other things. And, in this particular blog we've chosen to talk about a man who has truly been an influence in my entire life and life Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I recently ran across a YouTube channel called, "Speak the Truth" (www.youtube.com/jamash1914's) that has a fairly extensive video catalog of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and other famous black leaders speeches and public addresses. And, as watch the Dr. King play list I begin to reflect on my how he was one my biggest childhood influences. While other young people were memorizes lyrics to LL Cool J, Run DMC, Biggie & Jay Z lyrics I was internalizing the words one of our greatest black leaders; Dr. Martin Luther King's speeches. I even remember my official introduction to Dr. King and his speeches, I can remember watching the "King" mini series with my dad during black history month when I was a young man. And, I was intrigued by the life of this leader as well of the eloquence with which he spoke. Paul Winfield did an excellent job in playing this civil rights leader, so much so that I wanted to learn more about his life when the mini series had concluded. My dad begin to tell me more about Dr. King and he even introduced me to one of Dr. King's album's that he in his record library. The album was called; "From Montgomery to Memphis" and on one side he had his last speech, "I've Been to the MountainTop" and on the other side was one of his last sermons entitled; "The Drum Major Instinct."
And, I can remember listening to that album all the time. I had gotten to the point where I memorized both sides of the album and had even begun emulating his Southern droll and cadence from which he preached. I remember after memorizing this record that I begin searching out other writings and recordings of his to memorize as well. I purchased another album entitled, " A Knock At Midnight" which was a famous sermon that he preached regarding the plight of this country and the plight of the Negro in America. As I begin internalizing these speeches along with it came the desire to share what I had learned. And, so I begin seeking out ways to share these speeches in churches and schools within my community. I begin with my church Greater Grace Temple and the schools that I attended at the time the Greater Grace Christian Academy, Beaubien Middle School & Mumford Highschool. I spoke in assemblies and church services commemorating the life of this great African American civil rights leader. I'd gotten so good at emulating Dr.King that people started calling me "Little Martin." This became the first phase of Dr. King's influence in my life, which I would probaby called "emulation."
The second phase of Dr. King's influence in my life was moving from the realm of "emulation" into "internalization." This phase was actually looking at the words that he spoke and wrote about the Civil Rights Movement; beginning to contextualize the movement and the struggle. Attempting to understand the plight of African Americans during his time and juxtaposing this analysis with the plight of African American's today. This contrast and comparsion caused us to begin writing original speeches of our own and competing in local and national oratorical contest just as Dr. King did as a young man. One of the first oratorical contests I competeted in was the Detroit Medical Society's Oratorical Contest when I was a 10th grade student at Mumford Highschool. The topic for the competition was "Do Minorities Need a Revolution of the Mind?"
The contest took place at the earlier African American Musuem with four (4) contestants from other high schools competing for a $1000 savings bond. Before this final round of oratory, we first had to recite our speech before a preliminary panel in an earlier stage in the competition. If our speech was accepted and approved, we then moved on to the final round at the musuem. I took first place in this competition along with several others as well.
This phase of "internalization" has led to the stage where I am currently which I like to call "incorporation." This is the stage where I have now incorporated the writings, the speeches and even his approach to speaking into what we do as a speaker and minister of the gospel. I believe I am an analytical thinker like Dr. King. I too have given my life to study and self improvement and are constantly seeking out ways to share this knowledge with others. I have written several speeches myself, and again have won numerous awards and contest because of this God-given speaking ability. Not in any way trying to compare my life to his, but simply trying to illustrate the impact and influence his life has made on my life. There are certainly others that have impacted my life as well. I feel truly blessed and favored by God to have had such great examples of leadership, wisdom and success in my life and I endeavor to be a reflection of these great examples on the lives of everyone I'm able to touch in this life God has given me
My question to you is simple, who has made an impact in your life. Who are you role models? Who have you patterned you life after in one way or another? As I said earlier, I want this to be a blog where I can be a little transparent and candid with my writings. I do so because it is my hope that we can learn from one another as we travel together along this journey of adventure and inspiration. Feel free to leave your thoughts anonymously or in person, but I would like to know who some of your influencs are as well. I hope you were inspired by this little note as well learned a little more about the author. Either way I pray you are continually blessed by what you read from "The Pastor's Perspective." Be Blessed!