There once lived a great household that was known all over the seven great kingdoms of the Amazon to be remarkable farmers. They were great in size and great in the skill of farming.
One bright morning, this priceless family of farmers left home for the farm, to carry out the work of the day. They had a big portion of farmland and had scheduled that day to finish the cultivation of the land. With determination and resilience, they were able to meet the target set for the day.
Although tired, but happy with the progress achieved so far on the farm, they picked up their farm implements and set out for home.
Some few meters away from their house, the youngest son of the family who had been peering hard into the distance before him, suddenly let out a shriek. The others were startled and immediately turned towards the direction he was still looking at. As they faced that direction, they noticed a thick trail of smoke rising from a structure that looked like their house. With all alertness, the family ran towards the house. When they had reached the place, they found that a part of the thatch roof covering their big house was on fire. They needed to do something fast if not they would be left homeless.
The scene was paused, with the tired farmers gazing incredibly and mournfully at their burning house. What do you think will happen? Will they allow their house to burn down completely as a result of tiredness or will they find a way to save it?
A man like the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will certainly not have allowed his house to burn down even if he was very tired because, against all odds, he never allowed the terrible fire of racism to burn down America, his beloved country.
Since the 17th century, America was hit with a ball of fire, in the form of slavery. It burned terribly against the Black people from Africa, enslaving them and taking away their rights. These enslaved Africans were taken away from their homes in chains and sailed across the Atlantic ocean into America. Whether these slaves had liked the idea or not, they were in America to stay.
America became their home, and what a home it was to them. The home seemed void of love and warmth. The Black people of America continued to suffer from the scorching flames of slavery for many years, praying and sighing deeply for freedom to come to them.
Their prayer for freedom seemed to have been answered on January 1, 1863, when the then president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, issued the Emancipation Proclamation as the nation entered its third year of bloody civil war. The Proclamation stated that “all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” That was great progress indeed, but although the Blacks were termed free, they never really experienced complete freedom.
After the Proclamation, they instead experienced another form of bondage called “Segregation”. They were not allowed to attend schools that White people attended, they were not allowed to drink water from the same place White people drank from, and so on. In short, the Blacks were barred from having anything to do with the Whites in terms of strict brotherhood and equality. It was during this period of “Segregation” that Martin Luther stood up and said, “Enough is enough!” The injustice and racism had burnt his people badly already.
It was time for that ill fire to be quenched, and the wounds from the burning, healed. America was the only country he knew to be his, and he could not bear to see his people and the whole nation being burnt down in the fiery flames of injustice and racism.
This fight Martin Luther chose to be involved in was never an easy one, but he never allowed tiredness, threats, accusations, and other unpleasant things to distract him from his goal of seeing his Black brothers and sisters free from oppression.
Like a brave firefighter, Martin Luther ran towards his burning nation with the bucket of all the love he could find. Yes, he decided to use a peaceful approach to settle the issues of extreme racism against Blacks. Martin Luther understood that fire couldn’t quench fire, and that hatred couldn’t stop hatred, so he chose to arm himself with a weapon that was opposite to that of his opponents. This weapon of love he chose seemed unreasonable and unrealistic in the face of the fight against racism, but in the end, it worked wonders.
Martin Luther wasn’t the only hero in that great struggle. No, they were many. The peaceful protests of these wise and courageous people, both Black and White, helped achieved a turnaround in the legal system of the country, through the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights, giving freedom to the Black people of America.
The paused scene was brought back to life and onlookers couldn’t help but see the family organize themselves to put off the fire. Fortunately, they were able to quench the fire probably caused by lightning, with only a portion of the roof gone.
No right-thinking family could ever watch their house burn down to ashes. No right-thinking individual could ever stand and watch his or her country burning in flames without doing anything, no matter the dreary circumstances around. So, we are all called to save our homes, to save our beloved countries as Martin Luther did.
About the Author:
My name is Igomu Grace.
I studied biochemistry.
I like viewing nature’s beautiful gifts.
I like to write.
I have great interests in art and science.
I like reading good books and having good moments with my friends.
I feel writing is like a safe haven, a place where deep things can flow unobstructed, from the mind to the paper.