Keller: Rev. King left amazing mark

Published 12:01 am Saturday, February 11, 2017

As we celebrate Black History Month, I’m reminded of the life of the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

His 17-minute “I Have a Dream” speech is regarded as one of the finest in the history of America.

In part, he said that he had a dream deeply rooted in the American dream that all men are created equal.

His dream was that one day his four little children would live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Those words by Mr. King were spoken in front of over 250,000 people. At the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D.C.’s history. I was preoccupied with the small picture of those times rather than the big picture that he dreamed of.

During that time, I was 28 years old and running for a seat in the state legislature. I’m ashamed to admit that as one of the greatest movements in American history was being written, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on our country.

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.

Because of his nonviolent approach, many of his own race didn’t support the march. Malcolm X called the march the “Farce on Washington” and his followers were forbidden to attend.

Mr. King was killed in Memphis, Tenn., at the age of 39. I’m reminded that a man is not remembered by the years in his life but by the life in his years.

In 1963, he was named Time’s Person of the Year. King was the first African-American and first non-president honored with his own memorial in the National Mall area.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom was posthumously awarded to Mr. King by President Jimmy Carter. The citation read: “Martin Luther King Jr. was the conscience of his generation.”

Another of the many recognitions he received was being second in Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.

He was one of the bravest and most courageous men in my lifetime. I think he would be disappointed at the condition of our society today.

Yes, African-Americans have made great strides in the past 54 years, but many have used his labor of love to promote their personal agendas. Many of the younger generation have neglected to take advantage of the freedoms for which he died.

I think he would be ashamed of some of the African-American leaders of today.

It’s been said that when a man dies, he will either leave a mark or a stain by which he will be remembered. Martin Luther King Jr. has left a mark that completely changed the face of America.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write Harold Keller at Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or email