Obama's inauguration draws parallels to Dr. King's dream

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Marcus Sharpley
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Equal Opporunity
On Jan 20th, President-elect Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. With this inauguration, history will be made, as he will be the first African-American man to hold arguably the most powerful and prestigious job in the world.

President Obama's catapult into history can be credited to the historic work of one man whose values of integrity, service before self and excellence changed the course of American history. His dream culminated 45 years later with the election of Mr. Obama as President of the United States. This lone crusader is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Born in Atlanta in 1929, Dr. King followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather to become pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. In 1931, he moved to Montgomery and became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. In 1955, Dr. King received his doctorate's degree from Boston University where he met and married his wife Coretta Scott.

Dr. King went on to assume the post of president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where he began a non-violent crusade against unjust laws levied to deny basic rights to U.S. citizens whose skin happened to be black.

Dr. King organized peaceful sit-ins, protest, marches, and fought many legal battles to end discriminatory laws that ultimately changed the course of American History. Several of his courageous stances included the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Montgomery to Selma March (known as Bloody Sunday), and the famous March on Washington where he delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history, "I Have a Dream."

The pinnacle of his work came with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawing unlawful discrimination in America. Sadly, three short years later, the man that changed America through non-violence was viciously gunned down on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tenn.

In an interview, after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Dr. King was asked if a black person could be President of the United States. Dr. King replied that it would take some time but he believed America would see a black President in about 40 years.

Forty-five years after the historic signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an African-American man will fulfill the prophetic words of Dr. King and become our president. Unfortunately, Dr. King cannot be here to see the fruition of his work.

However, when President Obama takes the Oath of Office, the dreams of a nation and the one man that made it possible will finally be fulfilled.