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National Commentary

Re-examining The Famous “Dream” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Rosaland Tyler
Associate Editor
New Journal and Guide

What arose from the ashes during Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic, 17-minute speech titled, “I Have A Dream,” were vague visions and images that you can’t miss these days.

King saw the decline of nefarious forces that would thwart the success of competent people of color from coming into existence.

In plain terms, Dr. King’s children and others are living the dream. But they are living out Dr. King’s prophetic dream because dreams “do not deceive, they do not lie, they do not disguise or distort,” Dr. Carl Jung said. “They are invariably speaking to express something that the ego does not know and does not understand.”

An example of one who is living out Dr. King’s dream is Tristan Walker. He launched a cosmetics company for people of color in 2013, which was recently acquired by Proctor & Gamble for an undisclosed sum. Right now, Walker is moving his start-up company from Palo Alto, Calif., to Atlanta.

Describing how his entrepreneurial dream took flight, Walker said in a recent interview in The New York Times, “I’ve. . . been frustrated for years about having to walk down what’s called an ‘ethnic beauty aisle,’ which is always next to the beauty aisle.”

If you notice how Dr. King’s dream and Walker’s dream are stalking a list of major frustrations- fine. For a dream invariably speaks “to express something that the ego does not know and does not understand,” Dr. Jung said. Let’s say Dr. King’s dream fueled Walker’s entrepreneurial mindset. For Walker’s journey began in a single-family-headed home in public housing in Queens, proceeded to Stony Brook, to Stanford University, and to Silicon Valley. Walker said of his journey, “Many people of color never launch a startup because “The diversity problem in Silicon Valley continues to not (NOT) improve,” he said, “It is a fundamental problem.”

But neither Dr. King’s historic speech nor Walker’s dream grind to a halt in mid air. Instead, both point a long finger at solutions. (For example, Dr. King said in his speech, “It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ”insufficient funds)”

Meanwhile, Walker said he always refused to take no for an answer. He succeeded because he would not honor the status quo. Although he was a former honor student with a 4.0 GP “Valedictorian, all that stuff,” he added, in his interview in The New York Times, he also pointed to the moment he saw the light. One day he walked down a beauty and health care aisle that companies designed for African American consumers.

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…see Dream, Issue 119, Vol 3; page 11

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