During the Segregation Era of the 1950’s and 60’s, Atlanta was deemed “The City Too Busy to Hate.” Deeper into my own hunger for learning more regarding the slogan, it was originally coined by the late Mayor William B. Hartsfield in 1959. The mention of it thereafter became a responsive motto within the Civil Rights Movement.
The core notion behind “The City Too Busy to Hate” was meant to find intersectional approaches between the black and white business communities – where both could discover economic growth and individual prosperity. This initiative caused civic leaders of that time, business owners, and regular “folk” to spend time with each other and explore the many ways to improve race relations.
The lending of our time and service can bring about a greater good. A midwestern educator Paul Solarz wrote a book entitled: “Learn Like a PIRATE – Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed.” Within the book, he said this:
Collaboration allows us to know more than
we are capable of knowing by ourselves.
To lend oneself to participate and share with others can result into doing ‘acts of service’. Acts of service doesn’t keep you idle; it keeps you doing. We know that in the vestiges of time, the image and mention of a Segregated Atlanta came to a final end. But our collaborative work can be achievable to find common ground.
Shortly after the first MLK Federal holiday, a Princeton University Sociology Professor, Marion J. Levy, Jr., wrote and published a call-to-action article in The New York Times. He said “I proposed we declare the holiday a ‘day-on,’ rather than a ‘day-off.’ The intention was to provoke all who made it above the poverty line to sacrifice their talent and time to those under the poverty line. That stuck with me…
This Saturday I volunteered at Hosea Helps, a local organization founded in 1971 by the late Hosea Williams, a well-known Lieutenant within the Civil Rights Movement. The family-run organization serve families who are on the brink of homelessness by providing emergency food, utility financial aid, other human services. On Saturday, we boxed a host of donated food items for 100 families in need.
I’m proud to live in a city that cares about its people, and I’m honored to work along side by side with people who love on the least, less, and lost. In observing MLK Holiday, let us re-commit ourselves by sacrificing our talent and time so that others we serve can live in a world of dignity and respect.