The Dream Upgraded

Jose Vilson Education

Martin Luther King Jr.


It all started when we had our ELA tests and the kids were acting out, and really, acting out. After a while, I just got tired of their disrespect and lack of care for their own education, and showed them why their teachers fight so hard for them. Below is the letter I wrote to them on Wednesday, and if you don’t like it, well, leave a comment. It was as watered down as possible for kids who really never got a history lesson about these deep topics. The reprise comes tomorrow. Peace and happy MLK day.

Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday it was yesterday, once said the following:

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life – longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not go there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I’m so happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man!”

April 3rd, 1968; Memphis, Tennessee

In his time, he fought for people to sit in the chairs you sit in today with the same teachers available to any other person in these United States without being called a “nigger” or any other terrible name they could come up with for people who were from a different country or a different race. In this speech, he knew people wanted to kill him because he was saying all these things and fighting for them every single day to make this happen. What people asked of him and his people, he did because he knew it would improve his community and hoods like his.

Today, I thought about how each of you, are part of his dream. That you can have a teacher like me have students like you all learning, and thinking, and growing every day. And sometimes, people in our own neighborhoods don’t want that for us. They want to stop us from succeeding. They tell us we’re not good enough for things because of where we come from. Now, instead of someone from the government calling us the n-word, we do it to each other, even though the pain is still there.

Yet, Martin Luther King Jr. walked on water. He took a good risk, even though he knew people didn’t like him and wanted him to not follow. And sometimes, when you’re doing good things, people want to shut you up too. I am here to tell you to stop and think. Think about the people that care about you. Think about your families and other adults that have helped you get this far, and also that want you to get further than where you are.

Then, act like a role model. Help make your hood, wherever you come from, better, with your actions. King wasn’t perfect, but he tried his best every day. And that’s what I ask of you. Try, every single day, and don’t stop until … well, never. I’ve been to the mountaintop too, and I want you to see what it’s like.


mr. v

jose, who’s excited for the NY Giants for obvious reasons …