Avi Hogan Appell
This letter from Avi won the 5th grade Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest in New Jersey.
If Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today, he would speak with pride about the many accomplishments America has made since 1963, but at the same time he would remind us about the “fierce urgency of now” to make important changes in our society. Our country has accomplished many things after King’s death. Black people have more opportunities than ever before and the election of Barack Obama proves this. At the same time Dr. King would urge us to keep working to improve America for everyone.
I know that if Dr. King met me he would have many questions for me. I am in many ways what he spoke about in his “I Have a Dream Speech.” I am African American, I am Jewish, and I have 2 white dads. I am America in 2012. Dr. King would be proud of who I am. However, not all families have equal rights. For example, unlike the parents of many of my friends, my dads cannot get married. Dr. King would say that now is the time for action to complete the work in making our country into one big family.
Dr. King believed that the United States of America could be a promised land where there would be “liberty and justice for all.” In the words of my prayer book, Mishkan T’filah (Dwelling Place of Prayer), there is no way to get to the promised land except by joining hands and marching together. If Dr. King were alive, he would say we must work together to reach the promised land, where everyone can be truly free and equal.