My Thoughts this MLK Day.

I have to be honest today: I see inspirational quotes from MLK on my timelines, quotes that were used to inspire generations and encourage those actively involved in the fight for justice, and they make me smile. Then see the comments (I know, I shouldn't read the comments) from people who reduce our progress to the worst of our people. It's disgusting, and sadly, a little discouraging. Because I look around me and see very little of the bad, but rather SO much black excellence.

I see my parents who grew up in the segregated south, but got great educations and went on to become entrepreneurs and investors that have their children's futures secured for life.

I see my brothers, one who took a job investing back into our community, and the other standing as the very few faces of color in the tech industry at Apple. I see my little brother who is following his dreams of becoming a chef, specializing in tasty comfort food for diabetics.

I see my boyfriend who spent more than a decade as a patent lawyer, excelling through undergrad, graduate school, and earning his JD from the most respected law school in the nation. Now, I see him challenge others, black and white, to become their fittest, healthiest selves.

I see my friends who have their PhD, travel the world, and have started businesses inspiring others to do the same. I see my friends who work their butts off at jobs like Goldman Sachs and ESSENCE magazine, paving the way for generations of children of color who will come after us. I see friends who raise their little black girls on French versions of American books, because they understand that there's more to this world than America and Americans.

I see my girlfriends who either take jobs or do volunteer work that invest in our community and educate future generations who may otherwise never have exposure to life outside the "hood".

I see my President and his family, a living example of someone from Chicago being the opposite of a statistic.

I can't scream through impoverished neighborhoods, telling people of color to stop killing each other, stop living off the system...I understand it's all deeply rooted and a tough cycle to break. What I CAN do, however, is highlight the incredible black men and women I'm surrounded by day in and day out, men and women who defy stereotypes, inspire generations, and would make Martin Luther King, Jr. VERY proud, despite what the racists like to believe.

So this MLK day, I'm not posting a quote or a feel good image of this man who had a dream. Today, I'm posting about the men and women who I know are his dream personified.

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