I was in middle school or high school when Mama decided to have a dinner party on Martin Luther King Jr Day. It wasn't going to be just any dinner party either. There would be dressing up. There would be performances. Everyone in attendance would participate. No excuses.
It was a night filled with music recitals and speech recitations. I don't remember what we ate, or even who all came to the party that year or the years following. But MLK Day was never again a holiday to be taken lightly. Never again would it be just another day off from school or work.
That was many years ago. And too often it seems we forget to pause on these designated holidays to remember why. Why it is we celebrate this man. This person. This day. Many of us no longer even get the day off work.
If I were to go to a Martin Luther King Jr. dinner party today, I'd probably share something by Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X. Walker. So today, in honor of Mr. King, and those dinner parties Mama used to host, let me introduce you one of my favorite poets.
For more of Frank X. Walker's poetry, even some honoring King, hop on over to his website.
If you have the day off school or work, I hope you consider getting involved with the MLK Day of Service and volunteer in your community. Whether you work today or not, I hope take a moment to remember why we honor the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr, or perhaps even host your own private reading of MLK's Dream speech.
Tell me how do you honor Martin Luther King in your home or place of work? I'd love to hear your stories, and find out if Mama really was the only one who hosted a MLK Day party, as I always secretly suspected.