Today is the Dr. King holiday, and what’s odd is that the news out today is that “scholars” are saying that his legacy is being oversimplified.

Supposedly, the message these scholars are putting out is that most people have one memory of who Dr. King is, that being the “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963 at the Washington Monument. These scholars are saying that he was so much more, but most people have no clue because the speech is the only thing most people talk about.

Truthfully, that’s the way it’s always been about black history. For instance, when I went to school, the only thing I learned in school about black people was that they’d been slaves, and there was one guy named George Washington Carver who did something with the peanut; what, no one ever said, other than peanut butter. Lucky for me, I got interested in black history when I was 11 years old after reading a book on Frederick Douglass, and I couldn’t get enough of it. Even with that, I couldn’t control my fury during the week that Roots was on TV, when most people, for the first time ever, got some sense of just how brutal the concept of slavery could be.

So, what was Dr. King’s real legacy? Based on what I see these days, I’m not really sure. I know he was against war, against racism, against poverty, and for education and women’s rights. He fought for the right of minorities to vote, and now most minorities couldn’t be bothered. He fought for the rights of equal access and now, in many places self segregation is more ingraied than ever. He fought for equal education and,… well, I need not go on. Frankly, it seems that Boondocks got it right; not sure how many of you will get that reference.

And yet, I think the King holiday is more than what these scholars feel it might be. Sure, maybe many people are one topic historians. Still, every year, the celebrations and acknowledgments make people think, even if it’s only for that one day. And, one thing Dr. King knew well was the concept of baby steps for long term progress.