Because of His Dream: The Impact of Martin Luther King Jr.
I’m an avid dreamer. I take joy in making long to-do lists, and deriving worlds of possibility from the mundane and the ordinary. As a dreamer myself, I’m constantly inspired by people who had a dream for their life, and invested everything to make it a reality.
One such dreamer was Martin Luther King Jr. Born to Atlanta, Georgia and the son of a pastor, he was moved to end the civil injustice that his people endured. His iconic speech, made on August 28 1963, set the agenda for activists all throughout the United States: to fearlessly work for the day where people of all color are given the opportunity to pursue their passions and live a satisfying life.
To be honest, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the weight of Martin Luther King Jr’s words. I’m a Caucasian, middle-class teen from Southern California, and by no means have I experienced the pain and atrocities that he did inspired him to march forward in the direction of his dreams. Yet, in taking the unpopular opinion as a journalist, I began to learn more and more about the courage that he possessed.
My goal as a writer, journalist and blogger is to expose the stories that are relevant to people, and to introduce them in approachable ways. However, often, this requires me to take a hard stance against certain issues, such as sexism in music videos or lack of diversity in the media industry. People will often disagree with me, explaining that I’m wrong, that I’m not supposed to be thinking like that, and that I’m just a kid.
To take the unpopular belief takes courage – lots of it. Yet, as your fingers shake typing the truth on your well-worn keyboard or your voice quivers explaining your perspective, freedom is being expressed. Martin Luther King Jr. took an unconventional point of view and changed it into something society so blissfully accepted, eventually. He endured the pain because of the promise that lay beneath: the promise that his children would be able to live in a world free of discrimination, racism, and injustice.
While our nation, and indeed our world, has a long way to go until we can proclaim we met his dream, because of his vision, we are able to see that we too have the ability to lunge forward into the next era with the confidence and agility that we hold the potential to change the oppressive cycle.
From one dreamer to another, thank you.
Julia Schemmer is a senior from Norco High School, where she participates in five AP classes, is the president of the Female Empowerment Club and Link Crew, and publicist of Chinese Culture Club, American Cancer Society, and the FIDM Fashion Club. Aside from managing the communications at Her Culture, she is the founder of She Speaks Media and The Face of Cancer, editor for The Prospect Magazine, editor in chief of Motivation Daily, and contributor for the Huffington Post. Her future endeavors consist of becoming an international human rights lawyer, foreign correspondent, diplomat, and finally seeing the day where Leonardo DiCaprio wins an Oscar.