You don't know me but I know you. Well I don't really know you I just know you from books and films and speeches that you made. I thought I would write you this letter to let you know that I am thinking about you.
Today as you know is the day that we celebrate your birth. I thought I would share with you my humble thoughts on the state of America from a decidedly African American perspective.
I read and hear so many people go on about how badly we are doing. They talk about all of the statistics that supposedly tell us that we are less than all the other groups of Americans.
For instance we are told that 70% of Black children in America are born out of wedlock. I wish I could tell you how many White children are born out of wedlock, but they never seem to tell us that statistic.
I know that it sounds really bad that 7 out of 10 Black children are born out of wedlock. Some how I think that if you were here today we would have a better perspective to look at this situation.
I'm sure you would give us solutions.
That ability to give America perspective is what I think we all miss the most about not having you around. The so-called Black leaders of today don't understand the need for perspective. They don't understand that people don't just need speeches and marches they need someone to help them navigate the complexities of being Black in America.
Your speeches were really about understanding the situation that we existed in. You led by teaching, that is a forgotten art today.
So many of us have trouble understanding why certain things are the way they are. Sure we have all sorts of figures and numbers but where is your perspective?
I don't want to keep you, I know that you are busy in heaven talking with our ancestors, I bet those are some great conversations. But I also imagine that there is at times great sadness at some of the things that are afflicting African America. The list is a long one but as you discuss these things with our ancestors I am sure that you are giving even them perspective.
As we move into this new century I know that you see the astounding things that we have and are accomplishing. Despite the constant reminder of all that we do wrong there is an abundance of success.
Today there are more African Americans in college than ever before. If you were here you would see through the lies being told about our students. You would tell us that there are indeed more Black men in college than in prison.
You would remind us that even though there are many Black children having serious problems in school that we should not overlook the millions of students that are excelling.
I also know that you have heard that people are saying that 70% of Black women are single. I am sure you would put that in perspective as well. You might have told us that many of those women are busy in school and in their careers and simply have not made the decision to marry.
You would tell us that a huge percentage of new businesses are being started by Black women. So many of us are just too busy to be in a relationship.
You would remind us that some Black women are lesbians whose unions are not recognized. Also you would remind us that a little over 50% of all American women are single.
Yes perspective is a wonderful thing.
You would remind us that everything we hear isn't as it is told to us. That we should examine more closely the messengers of all of these dismal figures about us.
I think I have taken up more than enough of your time. I just wanted to check in with you and let you know how much I appreciate all that you have done for us.
I wanted to tell you that we dearly miss you. I also wanted to let you know that many of us are still fighting.
And that despite what you may have heard we still have our eyes on the prize.
What would you like to tell Dr King?