It was a big year to be an abolitionist. I really wish I’d been ready for it! There were milestones and celebrations and remembrances—some worldwide, some national and some just for me. Over and over, I was given opportunities to honor the work that has been done, rejoice in the part I’ve played, and prepare for the fight still ahead.
Here’s a look back:
150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream Speech.”
I just can’t listen to this speech without tearing up, but the last several years, I’ve tried to watch it every Martin Luther King Day. It’s so moving, and so eloquent. It’s the picture of dedication and compassion. It’s a manifestation of God at work in His people. I totally understand when people compare MLK to a modern-day Moses.
Sadly though, I didn’t realize this milestone was approaching until just a few days ago. (Thank you, Twitter!) If I had, I might’ve tried to go to D.C. for the occasion, or at least The King Center here in Atlanta. It is certainly worthy of celebration. We’ve come a long way in 50 years, but there’s more work to be done. We pause to remember and honor, but we also make plans to press forward.
I think King’s speech ignites something deep inside many of us. It gives us a longing for justice. Freedom may have rung for some, but not all, and I think his speech reminds us of that as well.
So, I also have a dream.
I want everyone to be able to say, “Free at last. Free at last. Great God Almighty, we’re free at last.” There are approximately 27 million people around the world who can’t yet make that declaration. They are children, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, family and friends. They are enslaved to someone else. Literally, a slave. They need someone to fight for their rights. As it did 50 years ago, it will take people from all walks of life, working hard, banding together and changing mindsets, saying that we won’t stand for this any longer. This is an injustice. It is a threat to society. It must stop. I will help.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if, in another 50 years, we marked the end of slavery around the world? We would look around and not see perfect people, but people who have progressed. People who realize that another’s suffering and civil liberties are worth their time and effort. We must understand that if one of us is hurting, we all carry that with us. We are connected, whether we want it or not. The products you buy, the image you project, the compassion or lack thereof that you show, the attitudes that you pass on to your children, the way you speak, and on and on. It affects us all as a society.
I don’t think my dream is too audacious. 50 years? It’s possible. The abolitionist movement is swelling around the globe, as it has done in the past. All it takes is one person telling another, and then passing it on. And soon, those people are a movement. They are a force. Change can happen. Change is happening. Don’t you want to be a part of it? Wouldn’t want to look back and say you were there?
Even if this isn’t your cause or dream, you can still make small choices that can improve someone else’s way of life. “I know that I am not the only person who does not want to wear people’s tragedy. I do not want to consume their suffering with my morning cup of coffee.” – Dave Batstone, founder of Not For Sale
Everyone deserves freedom. Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Help me give others the opportunity to make their own choices. Let’s end slavery in our lifetime.
My friend, Kristen, inspired this post. We were discussing the Dahlonega Wine Trail event that I attended this past weekend. She asked how I found out about it, and I told her I was on A LOT of local event lists. Then she suggested I put together my own list based on the emails I get and send them to her. Basically, she wants me to whittle them down to the really good stuff. 😉
While that may sound like a lot of extra work, and let’s be honest it is, I also think it might be kind of fun. Atlanta is a GREAT city with a lot to offer. Why not take advantage of that? People should really explore the city they live in, so maybe by compiling this list I can help get my friends and co-workers out of their house and into some ATL adventures. I get asked about restaurants a lot because I used to work in the hospitality industry, but not as frequently about events. However, I do a lot of really fun stuff in the area, so I’m happy to share what I know.
Fingers crossed, I’ll do this monthly. For now, let’s start with the end of August and September, the month of my blessed birth. And because new emails hit my Inbox everyday, I’ll likely add to each list throughout the month. So be sure to check back if you don’t see anything the first time!
Just keep in mind, these are based on my tastes and preferences, so you won’t see too much in the way of sporting events or concerts. But if those are your favorite things to do, find a list and jump on it!