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Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on. And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
That quote is at the end of the song “Speak” on my latest album Black Hole Rap. It’s from a speech by Dr. King about the Vietnam War given on April 4, 1967…one year before his death. I look at music as an opportunity to speak. My career as an educator is an opportunity to speak. I am well aware that my willingness to voice my concerns, opinions, thoughts, joys, sorrows, loves, praises, etc. will create some degree of agony. That part of this quote was sobering when I first read it. It is hard to speak sometimes. Very hard. It’s actually hard to write this post and many of the other posts lately but I believe that my silence could truly be betrayal at this point in my life.
Remember that as you go about your business. Be courageous and speak when you KNOW you should. I hope to see you out here. Much love to all y’all.
A time comes when silence is betrayal.
—From a statement given by Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam