09/11/2013 11:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Next Generation of Civil Rights Issues Are Upon Us: Now Lets Go To Work


photo credit: Aaron J/

I had the pleasure to speak and participate at the March On Washington this year. We cheered, we cried, we remembered, we chanted, we commemorated and we marched, in the same spirit of those who fought for us in times past. Although that struggle has made alterations in 2013, we face the same likes of those who sought to divide us through our differences and deprive us of our rights to a true democracy.

No matter if you were from North Carolina or Chicago, I could see the gleam of hope that still resides in the hearts of those who desire to see the true greatness of this country.

Greatness, that says the right to vote would be protected for all men and women.

Greatness, that says that you can exist in this society without fear of who you are in the likeness of your skin color, gender, or sexual orientation.

Greatness, that guarantees your travel to prosperity would be uninhibited, and, greatness, that commands us to love and welcome those who travel from abroad with hopes of new destiny.

That is the greatness of the American dream. The dream so eloquently prophesied by Martin Luther King Jr.

That dream we know of is not simply the likes of a day dream for you see daydreams come and go but prophetic dreams realize over time with the hands and feet of those who chose to hear the message and move it into action.

It was a good moment.

But the day is done and it will be left with a marker that will say we were there in the shadow of the dreamer.

It was a good moment.

We must not punctuate that day with a period, for if we do that not only would we fail the dreamer but we default the dream.

It was a good moment.

The true importance of that moment is the reality of the work that we do tomorrow.

We must work go to work.


Until congresses passes a jobs bill to get our young off the streets of Chicago and Detroit, take guns out of their hands and put a jobs in their destiny.


Until every soldier who presents a military I.d, and every student that presents a student id, and every senior who presents no id can and will vote.


Until every man and woman boy and girl never live with the fear of stand your ground but can walk around with the love that surpasses all understanding


Until war is not the answer and peace is always the solution

I am often reminded of the story of a woman who had three sons. She didn't have much money, but she worked hard. She worked so hard that eventually she was able to put her three sons through college. One became a doctor, one became a lawyer, and one became a businessman. One day her sons came to her and said mama you don't have to work no more. One son will give you money every month, another said he would pay her housing at an exclusive senior housing facility, and another said he would pay for a chauffeur to take her wherever she wanted to go. The mother looked at her boys and said thanks but no thanks. She looked at them and said as she put her uniform on "I didn't work for you to give to me, I worked for you to work for the next generation."