Happy Martin Luther King Day

I am an African American, but when the issue of race is brought up, I find that I often don’t have much to say.

Some of my black friends however, will get all fired up, and often rightfully so, but that is just not me.

There’s no doubt that growing up in NY suburb as overwhelmingly white as mine shielded me from many of the issues black people still face.

I once remember a friend from Texas telling me that every time he goes out to eat, he is always served a smaller piece of steak than a white person.

I thought this to be ludicrous but at the same time I realized in New York, this would probably never happen, nor would I have any reason to notice it.

 

With that I woke up this morning feeling proud, because America has decided to honor one of the greatest men who ever lived, Martin Luther King.

And I say greatest because King has made life for myself and other black people in America exponentially better.

Without King, my family wouldn’t be able to afford to live in the house we do, nor would I be allowed to attend the mostly white public school I did.

Without King, I wouldn’t be able to attend a prestigious university like Duke; a key ingredient to living a better life.

Without King, Barack Obama would never have been elected President, and I wouldn’t be able to say that as an African American, with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, I can become anything I want.

Sure, there are still barriers that hold millions of black people back, but it is great to have a whole day and month dedicated to Pioneers whose shoulders we (I) can stand on, and take this nation to greater heights.

 

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About Ssunmonu

Sam Sunmonu is a Duke University Senior majoring in History with a minor in Political Science. He is interested in the marketing industry with a strong online tilt. You can catch him blogging at Sam Sunmonu's Blog, or follow him @NewInfluential. View all posts by Ssunmonu

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