Monday, January 16, 2006

King Day

Today at Fish & Greens we're celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If you're fortunate to have the day off from work (I do, but I always have Mondays off), take some time to reflect on WHY.

When I was a kid, Dr. King was my ultimate hero. I felt so personally connected to who he was and what he did. I knew the stories of the '50s and '60s well, and had heard many stories from my parents and extended family. (My mother, who grew up in Virginia, recalls drinking out of "colored" water fountains as a little girl, which, to this day, still blows my mind.) Growing up in the lily-white suburbs, I knew that his work was the reason why I had the opportunities I did. And I always felt that, as the only black kid in the school, I needed to promote and defend his work.

One year, in elementary school (think it was 3rd or 4th grade), I realized (on January 14) that there probably wasn't going to be anything done by my teacher to celebrate MLK's b-day the next day. So I volunteered to write a paper and present it to the class. The teacher was very excited by my request and agreed. Of course, then I had to go home and actually WRITE the paper, and I ended up exasperating my parents by procrastinating and staying up all night. At one point I remember being really pissed off that I had agreed to do this - here I was, busting my tail for no extra credit, and why was I doing this?

I felt really good the next day, however, when I read my little paper to the class. It couldn't have been more than a page, but I think that people actually listened to me, and hopefully they got something out of it. And, more importantly, I got something out of it. It was one of the few times in elementary school that I was truly proud of who and what I was.

So, to quote the title of a book popular during my youth: "Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!"

6 comments:

Melissa said...

Yep. Thanks aplenty. Wish more people had written reports about him... and remembered them.

DH said...

I think that's very cool and admirable that you did that. I know it wasn't a topic that was discussed at my school (unfortunately).

And, sadly, I don't have the day off today.

As I've called on businesses across the country, I've found that it's about a 50/50 split in terms of how many offices are open or closed for the holiday.

I hope everyone has a good MLK Day and takes a minute to remember the man that had a great impact on this country.

I have a question...are there any good biographical movies on Dr. King?

The Rover said...

Try an HBO movie called "Boycott" starring Jeffrey Wright. Limited scope, but very good flick.

DH said...

Thanks K Lance...I'll see if I can track it down.

Miss Fire said...

Bless your parents for raising such a good kid. I'm sure they were exasperated, but proud!

Hubby and I were just discussing how we cannot recall any really good biographical movies on MLK, and why one has never been made in the scope of "Malcolm X." Thanks, K, I'll have to check that out as well.

The Rover said...

Maybe I should write it...