I never paid much attention to political issues as a kid. My parents were civic-minded and always voted, but they didn’t discuss such things around us kids. They also didn’t talk about racism. I was around 11 when I first learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. We saw his speech, I Have a Dream, in my 6th grade History class. His words moved me to tears. It was after the film that I experienced an awakening. My African American classmates all had tears in their eyes too, but I was the only white person in the room with tears. I’d never noticed the color of skin prior to this moment. These were my friends and classmates. There was no difference in my eyes. After this moment though, I was teased horribly by my white classmates. They called me a N-lover. I didn’t realize that hate still existed so strongly in the late 70s as it had in the 60s and long before then. I gained a lot of African American friends after that and lost a few white friends. It didn’t matter to me. I was not racist and I wouldn’t tolerate those who were.
Dr. King’s words have always stuck with me. I too wanted a world without hate, prejudice and racism. I saw all my fellow man as Human Beings, not by race, nationality, religion or creed. I still long for peace and hope to see it in my lifetime. I’ve done a lot of research over the years about the 60s, MLK, the Kennedy’s and many others. It has become a favorite time period of History for me. So many powerful people whose lives were cut short because of Hate and Fear. Here are some of my favorite MLK quotes:
And here is the speech that began it all:
Interesting Facts: MLK was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s day was made a U.S.. Federal Holiday in 1986.