By Reginald Hayes
The City of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, chose Dr. Gerald Saffo of United Faith Community Church to deliver its inaugural Martin Luther King (MLK) Day address. The theme for the first MLK Day was “Together We Can Be the Dream.” Reynoldsburg is a suburban city of 42,000 residents nestled near the east side of Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. Saffo shared a compelling message of hope and encouragement. Many attendees were surprised and blessed to learn the historical context of MLK’s civil rights movement, which has not been shared in textbooks or films. Here are highlights of his inspiring message:
“Sixty years ago, on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and addressed a crowd of several hundred thousand who had come to the nation’s capital for the ‘March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.’ As bright as that historical moment had been, its promise has not yet been fully realized.
Perhaps the saddest aspect of Dr. King’s legacy is that so many of ‘Us’ have managed to lock him and what I have entitled ‘The I Have a Dream Speech’ syndrome by confining discussions about race to once or twice a year. Believe it or not, the ‘I have a dream’ speech is entitled ‘Normalcy, Never Again.’”
A section of the discourse Dr. King shared on that hot August day in 1963 says:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
King’s essential message never changed -- lessons from the past must be framed in facts and truth to liberate and empower all people.