In 2014 Civil Rights movement can seem like ancient history. The victories of that movement are more apparent now than ever, considering the amount of African-American men and women at key leadership positions in federal and state politics, higher education, sports, etc.
But, while time may heal all wounds, America is not past its battle with racism. The commentary surrounding the George Zimmerman trial last year is just one such example of this struggle.
Greenville has had its own struggle with racism and racial inequality, an ugly history epitomized by the now infamous “Blackest Land, Whitest People” sign that hung in our city.
Greenville has come a long way since then, but we cannot continue to move toward racial equality, nor tackle the complex social topics that dominate our national conversations, by blindly ignoring the past.
That is why it is of the utmost importance for us as a community to take time to step back and remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives to improve our society.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is one such individual. Widely regarded as one of the most powerful and influential voices of the Civil Rights movement, Dr. King was a man whose words and non-violent example helped move our nation closer to equality and forgiveness.
In his most famous speech, Dr. King laid out his dream for America’s future.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Greenville is still far from realizing this dream. But it is still one worth dreaming, and fighting for, even 50 years later.
This reflects the opinion of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.