Martin Luther King Day Message 2013

Uploaded by MassGovernor on 21.01.2013

Dr. Martin Luther King was a man of vision, one of courage and grace. He imagined this
day before many Americans could conceive of blacks and whites drinking from the same fountain.
And then he moved us, through nonviolent protest and inspiration, to create the pathways for
justice and opportunity that would make a day like this possible. Dr. King made America
I once heard Dr. King speak. He was addressing a crowd at a park on the South Side of Chicago
where I grew up and my mother took my sister and me to hear him. I think I was about 6
or 7, and candidly, I can’t remember a word he said.
But I do remember what it felt like. I remember the deep solemnity of the occasion. I remember
how at that moment I felt connected to all those other people in that park – people
like me of limited means but limitless hope. I remember feeling the power of that hope
and how it gave shape and purpose to the lives we were all trying to lead.
Dr. King’s dream of equality, opportunity and fair play for all was, as he put it, “deeply
rooted in the American Dream.” He imagined America as what he called, “the Beloved
Community,” a place where faith in each other--and hard work--could help bring the
American Dream within reach of more and more of our children.
We have come a long way along the path Dr. King envisioned for us. Many black and brown
people have walked from poverty to the middle class with the help of better schools and
access to college. Young people can see leaders in business, the arts and sports who look
like them and imagine things for themselves that were unthinkable a generation ago. A
kid from welfare on the South Side of Chicago serves as Governor of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, and another kid, with his own South Side roots, begins his second term as
President of the United States today.
Because Dr. King taught us that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,”
the struggles of women, ethnic minorities, immigrants and gays and lesbians have taken
their rightful place alongside the struggles of African Americans.
But the companion message of King Day is that there’s more work to do. We still must break
the cycle of violence that plagues neighborhoods and breaks families and spirits. We still
have achievement gaps to close in our schools so that every child can meet his or her potential.
We still have jobs to create and fill, voices to lift and hear. “Being first,” Doug
Wilder used to say, “doesn’t mean a thing unless there’s a second.” We still have
that Beloved Community to make real.
So as we come together as a nation to honor Dr. King and celebrate President Obama, let
us re-commit to do the work of building that Beloved Community. For the next two years
as your Governor and many, many more as your neighbor, you can count on me for that.
Thank you and Happy Martin Luther King Day.