The HOPE File: Remembering Harvey Milk

The election of Barack Obama to the presidency is a tangible and current example of what the audacity of hope made reality. We have no idea what will occur under his leadership, but many of us have a feeling that something good and just will emerge. Well, we certainly hope so.

Of course, this idea that we need hope to solve challenges isn’t a new one. Mohandas Gandhi talked of hope; so did Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr. Three decades ago, the message came from a civil-rights leader, San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person elected to public office in California. Like Gandhi and Dr. King, Milk was assassinated too. Like his predecessors, his words of hope live on in his own voice. :

From Milk’s most well-known address, “You Cannot Live On Hope Alone,” which was delivered in 1978, the year of he was gunned down. We would do well to follow his advice and live by his example. That said: If you have little clue about the man known as the Mayor of Castro Street and about his work for a variety of progressive causes, do some research — and don’t depend only on the forthcoming Guy Van Sant Milk biopic. Harvey Milk was and is a hero, and his words of hope can nourish us as we move into the future of our battle for justice and equality for all under law.

With that in mind, I’m starting a new category called “HOPE,”  this will be its first entry. HOPE will be the designation for items that can empower, soothe, and leave us feeling hopeful when most needed. Let’s hope it helps.


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