Monday, January 16, 2012

In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

While school children and others enjoy this day off, we should all remember how selflessly Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked so others could have a better and safer life.  I hope everyone takes a moment today to honor the man and his accomplishments.

I've read The Help and remember the 1960s well.  I grew up during the latter years of segregation, but really didn't understand what it was, until people like MLK stood up for their rights.  After taking a trip downtown with my dad when I was quite young, I remember asking him why the colored people (the term used at that time) sat in the back of the bus.  His answer was that some people believed other people shouldn't get to do things with the rest of us because of the color of their skin.  That was a little confusing to me, but I was too young to understand.  In 1954, the Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (Kansas) was a landmark case, and the Supreme Court's decision changed the course of this country for many.  But it didn't mean everything was to be integrated.  In 1958 the Dockum Drugstore sit-in  "was one of the first organized lunch-counter sit-ins for the purpose of integrating segregated establishments in the United States."  Wichita, Kansas was instrumental in making us aware of segregation, and having been a Wichita girl, I'm very proud of that.

I'm very lucky to have lived to see the changes I've seen in this country and in this world.  Freedom is a word we tend to take too lightly, too often.  Thank you to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others who have given their time and their lives to make this country a better place.

"The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." - Thucydides 460-404bc

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