Monday, January 16, 2017

Remembering Martin Luther King

I was young, very young, when Martin Luther King spoke and changed the world.
One might think that a middle class six year old white kid would not have memories of such days.
You might also think that Phoenix was such a wonderful mix
that the speeches and actions made no difference.
You would be wrong.

My dad was a news person.
I remember watching the news with him
every evening in the den.
My Dad made sure that, those of us who were interested,
heard and saw everything.
We were not shielded.

JFK being shot,
the War
The LBJ speeches

I remember sitting in front of the black and white

I remember watching the people being attacked with dogs.
I remember Dad "swearing" as people were hurt for their rights.

And I remember "the Speech".

I remember going to "South Phoenix" with him
to help in the Churches "down there" when people,
mostly of Hispanic and a few Black,
We also helped the police who attempted to separate the protesters from the disrupters.
Keep in mind, I was six.

When I was seven he made sure we all went to JFK's grave
I remember standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
and looking out
and being amazed
that it is where Dr King spoke.
A little kid
looking at the expanse
of where once stood a great man
and so many people.

It formed me.
At seven.
It is why I taught for 30 years.


Tom Sightings said...

Nice reflection. I wish I could say I was as aware and fully formed as you were at that age. We all get inspired by something, or someone, and there's no better inspiration than MLK.

Kimberly said...

I remember the curfews when he was shot. I must have watched the news very often as well, as I remember NOT being allowed to when my Godfather was murdered. But - it is wonderful that you remember the specifics...I do not - just the general feelings.

Janette said...
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Barbara Torris said...

Remembering is such a powerful thing. Thank you for the reminder. We all remember where we were on those awful the classroom, teaching summer church school, raising children. Hopefully we will never see such an era again.