OKLAHOMA CITY – A newly elected Tulsa legislator, in advance of the 88th birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., asserted today that it is important not just to reflect on the legacy achieved by the civil rights leader but also to “challenge ourselves to see to it that his dreams are realized.”
Dr. King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in our nation’s capital on Aug. 28, 1963.
In addition, though, during his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Dr. King “laid a vision for the world,” state Rep. Monroe Nichols related in a letter to his constituents. “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits,” Dr. King said.
Fifty-three years later, “even in our own community, far too many children go hungry, far too many able-bodied people are jobless, far too many members of our community lack access to quality education and health care services, and far too many of our streets remain unsafe,” Nichols said. “And even as we come together under this year’s theme of ‘Love Conquers Hate’, we still live with the legacy of bigotry and prejudice.”
Americans – Oklahomans – have made “significant progress” since Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., “but we have so much more to accomplish,” contends Nichols, a Tulsa Democrat. “Change has to start somewhere and at some time – why not Oklahoma and why not now?”
On the occasion of Dr. King’s birthday, Jan. 15, Nichols urged this state’s residents to “work to make good on Dr. King’s dream, which is indeed synonymous with the American Dream.”