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Monday, January 18, 2016

MLK Jr.-my thoughts

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many, probably mostly white people, it may simply mean a day off work or school. Some might be asking what in the heck did he do that was so great to warrant a day in his honor?

Mr. King was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. During his life, which was ended on April 4, 1968 by an assassin's bullet, he was a reverend, a cavil rights leader and in 1964 a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
As a civil rights leader he delivered a very important speech on August 28, 1963 in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.. The speech, which has gone down in history as one of his best, is known as "I have a dream".

This morning I was asking myself, have I ever actually read the famous I Have a Dream Speech? My answer was no. How could that be I wondered. With the help of Google I fixed that little error. I now have a better idea of the plight of people of color. Although Mr. King had many dreams, there was one paragraph that stood out for me. I'm sure he was a wonderful reverend and Civil Rights Leader but he was first a loving father. The paragraph that captured my attention was:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

These are my thoughts of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.


  1. I've lived as a minority twice in my life: once as an 9 or 10 year old in a suburb of Los Angeles several years before the Watts riots occurred, and once when I was 18 and a young mother.

    As a young girl, my family was one of about half dozen white families in the neighborhood, one of two white families on our 4-block street. Racial unrest began years before the riots; the way I know? The little kids we had been playing with in the front yards of our neighborhood began throwing rocks at me and my brothers. These were kids we played with after school and on weekends! Many years later, looking back, I realized that these little kids had no idea what they were doing; they were mimicking their parents and other adults around them. My family moved out of that neighborhood three years before Watts happened but I’ll never forget it.

    As a young mother with a 5-month-old baby, his father and I lived in a run-down walk-up apartment in San Francisco, in an part of town the city fathers called an “economically depressed area.” I didn’t know that meant slum or that our landlord was a slumlord; I just knew I wanted to live in San Francisco and this was the only place we could afford. We were one of only two white families in our building; the neighborhood was primarily black but also had other racial and ethnic groups living in it. I rarely saw any other white people in the neighborhood.

    Living as a minority is certainly not the same thing as being a minority, especially in today’s culture. I’m all too aware of "white privilege” but I’m thankful that I have had these experiences of living as a minority because at least I feel like I might have an idea of what it means.

    Now I think I’m going to go read “I have a dream…” too. Thanks for the thoughts, Barbara!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences Lois it offers another perception. I too felt like I was a minority when we moved to Grants, NM in 1976. It is primarily Native American and Spanish.