I grew up in an African American neighborhood during the 1960s and 1970s. I was one of a handful of white kids in each class, long before mandatory busing began when I was in Middle School. It was a turbulent, exciting time of extremes and tremendous change — a time of powerful awakening when so much that had been taken for granted was challenged and transformed.
Martin Luther King was a prominent part of my childhood. When he was alive, his leadership inspired my parents, my larger community, my teachers and my schooling. After his assassination, King became even more significant as an icon of Civil Rights and as a voice for speaking up for “what is right.” On the walls of restaurants and my school his face reminded us to be of service. Streets were named after him, his speeches were often quoted, and the sound of his voice rang in mine and other’s ears for years after he was gone. The power and passion of his voice still moves me very deeply whenever I think of it (I’m sensitive, remember?). Read More