by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
Turn on the TV and you will see iconic images of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being used to sell automobiles. Seriously? This is what we as a society must guard against – having well established heroes being used as economic pawns on the boob tube. So, how do we do this? Write letters? Protest on the Mall in Washington, D.C.? Make demands on social media and get millions of hits with a YouTube video? Remember the purpose of the last video you watched? Me neither.
The BEST way and the EASIEST way to solve this dilemma is to remember. We need to REMEMBER who we are! Yes. The purpose of every commemorative is to recall the good, and the bad, and then some more good (if possible). Every day is American History Day in the USA. Somebody is usually tinkering with something that moves us a little closer to “smarter” or “richer” or “cooler.”
I want to consider February my AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH which just happens to feature Black American citizens. The people I have commemorated here are heroic because of the determination that they showed against society, against naysayers, against a rigid system that tells US we should value things and not people. Here is my list of genuine role models.