Wikiepedia says that ” Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King’s birthday, January 15. The floating holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, though the act predated the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by fifteen years.

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.”

I slept in this morning. Today I spent the better part of the day cleaning my garage.  To be honest, I didn’t even think about why I was off until the day was done.  I had so much on my plate this weekend that had to be accomplished and today I completed my list.  As I spent the day with all 3 children somewhere in the vicinity, I was all alone.  I was in my thoughts which is a place I have grown to cherish as I continue the process of becoming seasoned.  In my thoughts the recurring phrase that I have adopted is thank you Lord.  I think that it has become my mantra, my space filler and my thing to say when there is nothing to say. This holds a place in my brain when there is nothing I am consciously aware of present – it prevents me from wandering into the negatives of the past and dwelling on what I coulda’ done or what I shoulda’ done. It allows me to be constantly in touch with why I am here and what I have yet to fulfill. It keeps me in the attitude of thanks.  As the day wound down, I went to the versatel  machine and noticed 2 gentlemen get out of their cars and walk up to the banks’ door to open it. After pulling on it twice they each stepped back and looked at the door as if to make sure they were pulling on it correctly and then curiously wondering why the bank was closed.  I smiled and said it’s a holiday. When I went to choir rehearsal a lady said that she went to her mailbox 2 times before she remembered that today was a national holiday. 

I faintly remember the controversy that was brought up by this day becoming a national holiday.  I remember that there were people who felt that it should not be a national holiday and the sentiment was from all races. The thought was that the celebration of MLK’s life would become relegated to what President’s Day has become, which is a sale on mattresses and a sale on furniture and the reason for the day off gets lost in the sale.  I remember as a younger woman believing that these people had a point.  I can tell by our lack of programming on the television today to celebrate MLK, that this has become the case.  Not so much that it has become commercialized but the fact that there seems to be little attention paid from television or even from people like myself.  For that I realize, I have a lot of work to do to make sure that my children  and my children’s children  recognize what Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy has meant to all people. They have to know from me who he was and what he stood for and the decency that he brought to the world. I am their role model and yet today I fell short.  I must do better.  “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

As I complete my thoughts I look up and Oprah is on.  She comes on out here at 11 p.m. and I record her nightly. She never fails to bring perspective. Her show tonight gives tribute to the MLK,  Jr. National Holiday by going back over the past 25 years of her show and reminding us of some of the topics that she had that had to do with race. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”



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