Today is a day to honor the significant impact that Dr. King made on the fabric of America for all Americans. I reflect on the contribution of he and countless individuals to ensure equality for all in many areas of life — one of whom is my father, Rev. Eugene O Wright.
My dad was an active member of the civil rights movement. I often tell people the story that my father named me Justice because I would be the only real Justice that he would ever get. Sounds good, right?
I call my dad a hoarder, but he calls himself the historian…and rightfully so. My dad has crates of historical artifacts ranging from an official Navy document on how to treat the Negro sailor to the official obituary of Petey Greene. While digging through his civil rights memorabilia, I scanned several pics of his journey onboard a train from DC to Selma, Alabama on March 24, 1965 and the march with Dr. King from Selma to Montgomery on March 25, 1965.
I am proud of the legacy of both Dr. King and my Pops and look forward to the continued efforts of our leaders and everyday folks to erase the biases and discrimination against all.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.