Today as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., many of us will read, listen to or share quotes from King’s famous I Have a Dream Speech — as well we should. I made listening to his speech part of my morning devotional.
But there are many powerful words of wisdom from King that we rarely hear. A few years ago BuzzFeed compiled 17 Martin Luther King Quotes You Never Hear. Yesterday, I read through them again and there was one in particular that struck me:
This quote isn’t attributed to a specific speech or essay, so I hope these are actually King’s words (you know the Internet is rife with fake King quotes).
And this quote called to mind a quote from poet June Jordan that I adore:
“I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.”
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about self-love, realizing how I live in a world that so often tells me – as a black person and as a woman – that I absolutely should not love myself, that instead I should see myself, my body, as a project always in need of improvement, that I am “other” or less than. And thus I have realized that to love myself in spite of this is a revolutionary act.
Today in honor of Dr. King I have decided to be a rebel.