[An Open Letter] Dr. King Did Not Dream of ‘Da Club’

by Ebonie Johnson Cooper for EBONY.com

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Dear Mid-Michigan Teen Party Promoters, 

First, I’m not writing to yell at, belittle or attack you. I’m writing because I care about you. We do a lot of talking about one another and not enough talking to one another—especially when it comes to our young people. I’m a firm believer that if I’m going to complain about something that affects my community, I need to also be bold enough to confront the person(s) involved. So, I’m coming to you in the most open way that I can.

I’m sure by now you’ve realized you’ve pissed off lots of people and that you’ve disappointed many others. Evidenced by the fact you’ve deleted your social media profiles, you are probably embarrassed. Maybe even a bit afraid of the backlash? Or quite possibly irritated that I (and folks like me) would have the nerve to be mad about your MLK party flyer? We’re messing up your money, right? Well, you have a right to feel all of those things. But hopefully by the end of my letter you will feel differently about all of this.

Hey, I don’t know you from Adam. I don’t even know if you are Black. However, I want to assume that no matter what color you are, no one has taken the time to teach you about Dr. King and the true meaning of his legacy in the African American community. No one must have told you that because of Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Medgar Evers and those of the like, an entire community of people can now live equally in this country. They couldn’t have expressed how much our civil rights leaders endured for our equality. But then again, maybe you have heard these stories, watched a documentary but you have simply chosen not to listen because today is different? Because that was a long time ago? Because none if that really affects you? Well, I have a reality check for you: Those “old” leaders matter. Their suffering matters. Our freedoms matter and yes, you, you matter.

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