Monday, January 20, 2014

Musings on Martin Luther King Day

That's a photo of people lined up to leave Los Angeles for a civil rights march in Alabama. It was 1965, and they were going to join Dr. King for a "Negro vote" march. I look at these photos and think of myself in 1965, a little white two-year old girl. I wonder whether I might have climbed onto that bus were I an adult. I hope so.

My awe of the man and what he did and what he said and what he accomplished never lessens.

When people claim that violence is sometimes necessary to achieve some goal or another, I think not really. Not at all. Martin Luther King is testament to that.


  1. I'm in total agreement. Last year I read King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" along with my daughter's class and was blown away. Totally blown away. What an amazing, thoughtful, brilliant man. May we continue to remember his words and deeds each and every day, not just today.

  2. I was eleven in 1965 and I remember the distinct undercurrent of everything was going on. There was so MUCH going on and there were people who had become totemic and their names and their faces and their voices were part of my world and I paid attention. I knew truth when I heard it, even then and there was absolutely no confusion in my mind about what Dr. King was talking about- he was telling the truth and the world NEEDED to change and he was helping it to do so with that amazing voice, that beautiful face, his words of such startling clarity and beauty and gentle force. He was such a magnificent man. When he died, I felt as if the world was crumbling and that hope had perhaps been lost. Every bit of it.

  3. I often wonder the same thing -- whether I would have had the courage, had I been an adult at the time, to climb onto those buses and join the demonstrators. It's easy now, on the right side of history, to say yes. But at the time, when people were being beaten in the streets and the buses set on fire, I'm not sure I would have taken that risk.



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