“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”
― Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As I was researching something to share that might be helpful to me and others regarding Black History Month, it struck me that my own faith journey along with walking with others who have also doubted, questioned, and cried over some things in our Latter-Day Saint faith that just don’t feel right informs my empathy for this topic. How being in this minority within my faith tradition the last few years—and sometimes seen as different, even possibly not as worthy, maybe even risky—has given me much more empathy for my Black sisters and brothers. But this is no comparison to what people of color have been troubled with. There is a vast difference. My LGBTQ sisters and brothers know how this feels much better than I do. As do many women. And Native Americans. And Jews and countless other misjudged and misunderstood minorities. Once we, “Mormons,” understood and felt this intimately. We too were once maligned and rejected. We, especially, should have such empathy for those who were or still are considered “less than.” Has God called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be a creative minority that can make the world a better place? Yes! And our history should make us want to know Black history much more intimately. And then act accordingly.
In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington to nearly a quarter million people. None of it would have been possible without the march’s chief organizer – a man named Bayard Rustin. Christina Greer details his life of advocacy as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, and the challenges he faced as an openly gay Black man.
Okalani Dawkins is a passionate Sophomore excited to create a better world through her passion for Civil Rights. In this talk, she highlights the importance of African American societies in America’s history past the Civil Rights Movement, and why we need to pay more attention to matters like those as well.