PUBLISHER’S NOTEBOOK: What we ought to be

Published 10:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday that honors a private American citizen. An iconic figure in our Nation’s history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a great preacher, orator and inspiration to people of all walks of life, his words and teachings continue to inspire us today. 

Dr. King preached nonviolence while leading the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s. A Baptist minister and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King dreamed of a world where all people were treated as equal, and truly had equal rights. He promoted using peaceful means to reach that dream. Tragically his life was cut short when he was shot and killed April 4, 1968, before a planned demonstration in Tennessee. 

King said, “All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Warren, Mervyn A.; Taylor, Gardner C. (2008). King Came Preaching: The Pulpit Power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. InterVarsity Press. p. 174.

Each one of us is a part of the whole and the power to create change begins within, one of us at a time, until we become what we ought to be. There are many in our community who are diligently working to further create change and meet the goal of King. Top of mind are Kashif Carter, Howie Soucek, Charles Qualls, Linwood Johnson, Travis Felts and Corey McCray. Of course, there are many more, too many to name here. 

I was a young girl of just eight years when King was brutally taken from us. Today, I am a young woman of 62. Reflecting on where we started, and where we are today, we have made some progress in becoming who we ought to be — but we still have a long way to go. Let’s build on the dream and come together to make a difference, together we will create real change. 

BETTY J. RAMSEY is the publisher of The Tidewater News. Her email address is