Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech was about being a father

What MLK Taught Me About How to Be a Dad

“We don’t take black money.”

Those were the cruel words my father-in-law, Dr. Little, heard when he was a young man at a public golf course in 1959.

“Good,” he responded. “Because money is green.”

He left his cash on the counter, turned around, and walked out the door to go play a round of golf.

Later, he and his friends were escorted away by police for playing on a “whites only” course. Rather than exploding into a violent rage, as many others would have done, Dr. Little stayed calm and held his head high during his arrest.

That highly publicized event and his example of a dignified man were instrumental in the future of the golf course, which would be integrated a few years later.

On MLK Day, I find myself reflecting on my father-in-law’s story. I am also reminded that Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech was about being a father. It was about envisioning the future he wanted for his children, and then working to make that dream a reality.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” he said.

We can all learn something from Dr. King, Dr. Little, and Championship Fathers across the globe …

More important than a man’s circumstances—his race, his socioeconomic status, his custodial or marital situation—is the way in which he handles his circumstances and envisions the future.

Do you model self-control? Do you remain calm and rational, even when others are becoming bitter … perhaps even violent? Can you hold your head high because you know you are acting like the dignified man you want your children to see?

Do you communicate to your children that the world is a good place and that the future is bright and colorful?

Or do you act as though the world is a bleak place to live?

When I think about what other fathers—black, white, Asian, Latino, poor, rich, married, divorced—have been through, I am motivated to hold the mantle just as high and to walk with dignity.

I am reminded to be mindful about what my children see through my eyes and how they envision the future.

What are your deepest longings for the world in which your children grow up? How do you want them to see you? The future?

Let this holiday be not just about civil rights, but also about Championship Fathering. Tell your children what you dream for them. (And if you feel comfortable, let us know in the comments section below!)

My dad was there for Dr. King’s speech in Washington, D.C., August 1963. Years later, I said to my dad, “I wish I could have been a grown-up back in 1963, when all that was happening with civil rights.”

My dad said, “No, Son, you’re going to be part of something even greater.”

Today, I’m convinced he was right.

Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a great dad who loves, coaches, mentors, and inspires my children.

What are your dreams for your children? How do you keep those long-term goals in mind every day? Please leave a comment either below or on our Facebook page.

Action Points for Dads on the Journey

  • Talk with a sibling or another childhood friend about your father’s influence and his character.

  • What historical or personal events have shaped who you are? Share those memories—and the way they changed you—with your children.

  • Challenge your child to take on a new level of leadership in one of his or her pursuits. (And be there to coach him along if he does.)

  • Dream with your kids. What will the world be like 50 years from now? What changes would benefit the most people?

Related Articles:

National Center for Fathering, reveals startling statistics about the difference that a father in the home makes in a child’s life.

If…Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was living today he would be upset and say “What’s up with this?

The Second Dream

I have a dream that one day on the hills of any state the sons and daughters of present fathers And the sons and daughters of absent fathers will be able to sit down together at the table with the whole family I have a dream that all black children will one day live in a nation where they will not be fatherless by a man who did not give a damn but fathered by a man who loves them with the strength and depth of God’s love.

Fathers who sacrifice for their children understand the value of their presence in their child’s life. They understand that whether present or absent good or bad they will make a permanent impact on the children.  And they choose to be a permanent positive impact.

The father must understand that he is more than a financial provider. The father helps to form his child’s identity. He helps the child in discovering his or her purpose in life. And has a starring role in supporting his children, mentally, emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually. He teaches; morally and spiritually guides, encourages, gives praise, hugs and kisses and says, “I love you just because you’re mine.”

A Call to Action

Let’s sacrifice for the dream that benefits our children. Let that dream be that each child in our communities has a father or father-figure who lovingly and actively engages in that child’s life. Let’s call on everyone from every sector of our community to make this dream a reality. It begins in our own homes with our own children. It ends in the homes of the children of the fatherless. It ends in the homes of the children who are fatherless. This is sacrificing for the Dream!

Let’s celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we honor his life’s work to achieve equality for all.

 Fathers 4 Justice International · Milton Keynes, United Kingdom · 
 Mr Justice Munby said the last two years had been, from the father’s perspective, “an exercise in absolute futility”. It was “shaming to have to say it” but he agreed with the father’s view that he had been let down by the system. http://www.theguardian.com/…/apr/02/childrensservices.uknewshttp://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/court.htm
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When a couple with children are no longer together, the couple has to decide who will have the children during the holidays. There are some who may celebrate the holidays together in hopes of creating a peaceful holiday for the children. There are others who are not in a true co-parenting relationship.

Removing the winner-gets-the-kids concept would also remove the incentive for parents to focus on each other’s faults, and to “dig up dirt” on each other. It may not be reasonable to expect divorcees to co-parent blissfully, without conflict, but getting off to a less acrimonious start, one that encourages cooperation rather than competition, would certainly seem to have a greater chance of serving the interests of children than the existing system has.

Source: Happy New Year 2016! · Causes

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10 thoughts on “Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech was about being a father

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