Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther King Jr.’

I was born in 1986, almost 20 years after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and the civil rights movement died down. That’s why this holiday is so important: it makes new generations stop and think about the history of civil rights in America, and about the future we hope to see. So here are some of the memories that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day evokes for me:

I remember: the first time I heard King’s I Have A Dream speech, which remains, in my opinion, one of the most inspiring political moments in American history.

I remember: the first time I, a Massachusetts native, learned about forced integration in the Boston City Schools in the 70s and 80s. Massachusetts still uses “desegregation buses” to this day. If you saw the New York Times’ amazing census graphic you know that our cities are still divided by race and ethnicity. What does that segregation mean today?

I remember: for several years in a row, the only African American student in my high school was obligated to give a speech on Martin Luther King day. I remember that he didn’t want to speak. I remember that he was the only African American student in my high school.

I remember: the first time I witnessed prejudice in action. I didn’t say anything. Today I renew my pledge never to let that happen again.

I remember: we have an African American president. When I first saw Obama on television in 2004, I thought, America will never elect a black man. It didn’t even occur to me that thoughts like that are racist themselves. Politics aside, I am so glad that I was wrong.

I just learned that today is the National Day of Service. I don’t know why I didn’t know that. Today I’m working – but next year, I plan to participate. What do you remember today? What future are you hoping for?

Weather: Cold but so sunny.


Hannah: 5 out of 10. Thoughtful and a little cold.

Anna: in transit. Hopefully not suffering too much at the hands of the airlines.


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