When this writer began hearing about MLKJr., as a teen he was not too interested , growing up in largely neighborhoods of negros as we were called then and of what i’d heard from some people, news, friends or my own inner soul , some adults were saying: Why march to be Integrated with people if they don’t want you around them, some news reports where about Dr. King trying to force integration, some friends were saying we don’t need to live around / go to schools with white folks, I was thinking , I’m not going to let people beat on me and not fight back, we’re not like that in DC.
Bull Conners and the like, water hosing children, beatings students in restaurants sit ins, bombing of homes, church’s, buses, murdering people , often without punishment and being cleared by all white juries intent on upholding white supremacy, more injustices and silence from those who knew/know better, some even to this day.
Martin Luther King Jr began to mean vastly more than just wanting to be with white folks, he wanted true justice, equality, to truly have the promise of life, liberty, respect, without color being the judge of one’s place in life. Other organizations /groups like the Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, CORE, and some others were less interested in the in your face protest marches. Negros were not wanting to be white people, they wanted the rights that whites enjoyed freely, rights to share in the rightfully privilege of being treated as human with equal treatment in education, housing, health, employment, voting, fairness too often denied every step of the way and to retain our culture. Looking back the long held injustices of not being able to drink from a public water fountain, sat in some seats on a bus, attend certain schools, work , own property, live in some areas, eat or stay in hotels, worship, teach and freely do so many other things whites were able to do, the rights movement soon heighten interest to many so called niggers, negro, black minds including this young advancing mind, the water hosing, lynching, red linings, hating, killings, injustices, burnings, brutalizes against our families and people has decreased but still simmers and sadly not put to rest completely to this day, the cruel punishment, injustices against humans for the color of their skin is so insanely unimaginable to most people of good will today, how do grandparents/parents who spilled such hatred began to truly amend, explain to their sons, daughters and grandkids now or do they?.
Some look back and dismiss some of Martin Luther Kings Jr’s non violence labor as lacking in today’s time, we must admire, engage and forever respect, remember, honor the struggles of that time and forge forward still. It’s real, but can be unbelievable how long evil acts continue in the minds and souls of some human beings. Thankful to those who have/ are truly committed to equality for all people and recognize more needs to be done, honor and thanks to the unknown persons who endured with Dr. King , Medgar Evers, Diane Nash, James Meredith, Rev. Samson (Skip) Alexander and others through the jailing , marches, bombings, shootings and murder of too many, thanks to the whites who joined and help against terrible odds to lessen the hardships of the struggle and continue moving forward.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was an amazing person, his parents, wife co leaders along with him, during those horrible times, it may be hard for some to consider with any real fullness how it was in that not too far away time even with some flare ups of hate now, we shouldn’t have had to endure those years, decades to gather human rights that all should enjoy, we must not forget, we must hold and not waver that all humans are treated as a family, deserving and worthy of the rights of equality. There are and will be cowards, liar’s, those in sheep clothing and others who muster up hateful actions against men and women who are together in life’s willingness to do what’s good and right for each other, fulfilling, keeping the journey of those before and after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who talked the talk and walked the walk of justice for all. Be your best drum major for one and another for all human equality.