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The content of each post is solely written by that contributor and only expresses the contributor's personal views. Each post does not represent the views of all the contributors or Women of Color Living Abroad as an organization. Each contributor is speaking from their own person experiences and/or perspective.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Traveling the World and Making the Dream Count


Making His Dream Count
January 16, 2012—Cha Jones

It’s funny when I was in the second grade I actually could draw. I think about that now and it’s really interesting because I can’t draw to save my little life… (laughing). I remember being in a drawing contest for the best picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, and I won. The picture was wonderful and it really looked just like him, but please dare not ask me to do that at this time.

When I think back to being in grade school and celebrating Dr. King’s dream of a better America I never had any clue that his dream would not only make my living in America better, but it would eventually take me across the world and impact the life I’m living here in Korea.

The dream lives with me

Dr. King’s dream was and still is an important part of being an African American. His dream impacts all American’s and I’d even venture to say at this time, all people, but being an African American who lives with the horrible past of slavery, his dream is a inheritance for a better tomorrow.

As an African American woman I will always remember the struggle of my ancestors. Their journey to America wasn’t pleasant and their fight was often painful, but it was because of their endurance and tenacity that I am able to live abroad. When I boarded my first plane to move to a foreign country I did it by choice and with my dream toted and ready to be lived. It has been a blessing to be able to know that those who came before me paved a way for a better life and the ability to see the world in a different way.


“As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” I Have a Dream, Dr. Martin Luther King We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” I Have a Dream Speech, Dr. Martin Luther King 
His dream lives with me, and because of his dream I have never known the depths of racism that many of my people have endured. I have to admit I do know discrimination, but even as I travel today, with stares and taxi drivers who pass me by because I have a different skin color, I know that my struggle is different. My struggle is not necessarily to be equal and most often it’s not about the color of my skin, but rather the ignorance of those who have been tainted with stereotypes. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I don’t know what it feels like to be judged or discriminated against at all, even in 2012. However, I will say that Dr. King’s dream is entrenched in me and I live with his dream daily.



I am able to live in a foreign country and I have one of the best opportunities ever because I am teacher. As teacher I have to ability to change and mode the views of the future. Some people think I should do it at home in America, but for me, it is a blessing to teach in a foreign country and have students learn firsthand that black people are no different. I am proud to be able to be an ambassador for my people as well as my country, and I believe that my interaction helps to bridge the gap between the stereotypes and truth for the next generations to come.

Making the dream count

I believe that I have the ability to make Dr. King’s dream count. I came to Korea because I wanted to travel the world. As I travel I am able to meet many different people from all over the world, and in many cases, the people I meet will never leave their countries of origin or have the opportunities that I have to influence others. I am so grateful for this opportunity and appreciate being able to travel the world and learn about other people and how they live. It is wonderful to be able to communicate with people who don’t always speak your same language and yet we can still have common respect for each other with no words at all. 

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