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America at Large

My Dream Goes Past 28 Days
By Ricky Allen
Feb 8, 2006 - 10:56:00 PM

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As I sat back and watched four U.S. presidents, numerous members of Congress and many veterans of the civil rights movement say goodbye to Coretta Scott King this week, I recall a comment I heard from some friends of mine.

They said, "Well, that's the official end of an era."


When I think about what the African-American community has done for civil rights, when I think of what my grand parents, great grandparents, and passed relatives went through just so I could write my words on paper and not be hanged for it, all I can say is I'm glad, glad that MY dream doesn't last 28 days.

We live in a world where society has become endowed with 'comfortable racism,' which is the acknowledgment of racial tensions in a calm, relaxed manner. As a people, we have become perplexed, lost in the system, victims by the miscarriages of justice, and have along the way, unfortunately, lost our abilities to unite in some parts of this country.

We live in a society that has respectively set aside Black History Month as a time to reflect on the contributions and achievements of African-Americans to this country. However, my question to you as you read this, does your dream last 28 days?

Is February the only time you reflect on what your community is doing? Is this the only time you think about what your relatives of the civil rights movement did so that you could do something as simple as drink from a water fountain of your choice? If so, then I charge you not with the shame of your own pride, but with the duty of knowing the road less traveled by you, and the one that was walked by our civil rights leaders, the road that hatred used to hose us down and beat us.

You should look at Black History Month, and ask yourself, "Does my dream last 28 days?"

From the coasts of Florida, to the battered, bitter remains of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Gulf Coast, our people have been forgotten, left out in the elements, left to drown in many cases, only to hear by the media to be called "Looters"

If survival's a crime, Let me be the first to put on the handcuffs.

And when the waters receded back into the oceans, it's not rebuilding homes and churches they talk about, it's how they can go back to partying. Black unity should not only be during a time of crisis, but a 24/7 job, where we as people keep the constant watch over the community. And even as I write this, I'm sure there are many who will only look at this as a judgment, but I write you in testimony that my dream does not last 28 days.

We've bombarded ourselves with music that displays segregation of women, celebration of violence and drugs. Our families have been torn apart by a lack of foundation, misguided minds and unfortunate events that become out of control. We're finding more of us in prison, and less of us leading the way. We're finding more pulling down others that are trying to do good, while others sit back and laugh, while saying, "I don't have to do nothing, they'll do it to themselves."

If we are to truly celebrate Black History Month, we must recognize a time to reunite and press towards the mark that Dr. King put in place, along with our other civil rights leaders. We cannot remember it just in February.

And for those who joke about Black History Month being in the shortest month of the year, I reach out to you and ask you, Does your dream last 28 days? If not, then it will not matter when you celebrate Black History because you will do it everyday of YOUR LIFE.

We're living in times of social disorder, national worries, and international concerns. If we, as a people, do not help each other, how do we contribute to this country? How can we? We all must do what we need to do to make our world a better place, but it starts with understanding where our strength has came from. It' starts with respecting a past filled with accomplishments that were so hard to achieve, a past that flew on the wings of mind power, and not on the speed of a bullet.

Let us all continue the dream, because if you're like me, my dream does not, will not, and will never last 28 days.

To the people suffering from the Hurricane's devastation, you have not been forgotten. To those incarcerated feeling there is nothing left, have hope. To our citizens who have lost confidence in our government, I implore you to be in good cheer, and unite in your communities and show the theory of Self Help and Spiritual Independence.

To the educated, show the reasons behind your success, and to our soldiers, continue to fight the good fight.

No, your dream should not last 28 days, and everyone should have a dream. If Dr. King could die for his dream, then we all can reach the pinnacle of our existence with the mindset of firm equality and justice for all.

Consider this not an accusation, or assumption, or fact, but do consider it. And if anyone's offended by the words I've written, then you have my deepest apologies.

But I must ask, Does your dream last 28 days? I hope not.


As usual, email me at with the subject line, "America At Large" Good or bad, I've heard it all, so send it. Please leave your name and where you're writing from so we can all see where the responses are coming from. It's always interesting.

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