Posts tagged: Martin Luther King
Good morning, Netizens…
I spent most of yesterday observing the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King if not with a sense of obligation or even public service. I observed the holiday quietly, in retrospect and with a strong sense of the history which few others may have because of their relative youth.
Although I never witnessed Dr. King in any of his many speeches, I certainly visited the Deep South during a time in its history that still rests in my heart as one of the most disheartening, sad and bitter times. I still remember seeing the ugly “Whites Only” signs in nearly all public facilities. I also was told by many people, most of whom also came from the North, to avoid getting involved in any of the demonstrations that were frequently taking place.
In retrospect, I either didn't have the guts to stand up for my beliefs, or else I was smart enough to realize I very well could end up in jail (most likely on trumped-up charges) or worse. I developed a strong sense of avoidance during the early years of Segregation; avoiding controversy, any potential charges of racial favoritism, and always being careful where I parked at night.
Still, despite avoiding controversy of all kinds, I did manage to meet and know many people of color along the road, and they seemed to understand the quandary I found myself in. It seems in retrospect that if I met and greeted someone down south with gentle decency and kindness I nearly always received the same treatment wherever I was.
I cannot forget the courage of Dr. King, who based upon my memories of that time, had a vision of the future which still has not been fulfilled all these many years later. I once had high hopes that I would see that dream of which he spoke being fulfilled in my lifetime. Now, at the age of 66, I no longer believe that is true. But my children and perhaps their children may have learned from our past.
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth (January 15, 1929). Mr. King was a remarkable figure in our history - for all cultures, for all faiths, for all beliefs, for all people. As we seem to be muddled in the middle of a lot of negative news, let us get back on track.
Below are some excerpts from his 17 minute speech:
May peace be with you, may peace lead you. May you dream a dream that makes a difference in your life and the lives you touch.