Martin and the Others . . .

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  If you are in the United States, you will undoubtedly hear and see clips from Dr. King’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech and enjoy solidarity events around your town.  If you’re African American or African, you may reflect on the benefits that the Civil Rights Era afforded you.  There is great wealth in remembering our history.

But let us remember ALL of our history.  Let us remember from a business standpoint as well.  One of the largest aspects of the Civil Rights Movement was the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott which brought a local industry to its knees by injured parties withholding their dollars.  Bus riders often transferred those dollars to friends, family and fellow activists who helped them get to work, school and play by a variety of means.  They demonstrated a valuable business lesson–give to those who give to you.

But we cannot forget the whirlwind that resulted from that solidarity.  The Civil Rights movement was instrumental in the liberation of African States under centuries of colonial rule.  While we remember Martin, we must not forget Medgar Evers, Dorothy Height, Fannie Lou Hammer and so many more.   Nor must we forget the contributions of Kwameh Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta and others on the continent who forged independent African states.

So let us celebrate Martin and learn the lessons from history converting it to lessons on business, wealth and health across the African Diaspora throughout the world.  Fourty-fourth President Barack Obama also christened MLK Jr. Day as a day of giving back.  Africans as well as those across the Diaspora (Africans of the transatlantic slave trade and migrants) should use this day to give back to their communities and find ways of strengthening Diaspora business, education, community and industry to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Happy Martin Luther King Day!


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