Monday, January 17, 2005

In Honor of the Day

My father was not a man to profess admiration lightly. He was rigid in his ideals and standards, and never a word did he say that he didn't mean.

I must have been about 7 or 8 one day in January. We were watching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech on PBS (the only TV station that was allowed in our house). It was the first time I'd heard it. Living in upstate NY, I was pretty far removed from race issues, experiencing it all through the benign liberalism of Sesame Street. But as I watched that speech and heard those great words from that great man's own mouth, I got chills. As the speech ended, I glanced at my father waiting for him to pronounce judgment on what we'd just heard. My father shook his head gravely, almost sorrowfully, and said, "That man could preach." It wasn't just his words, but his tone. This was the highest compliment I've ever heard him give.

It wasn't until I was older that I fully realized the enormity of what Dr. King was speaking of. My father was essential in shaping my view of the world and the people around me, but I have a feeling that Dr. King was essential in shaping his.

I've tried to embrace Dr. King's vision in my own life. I may fail to live up to it on occasion because it is magnificent and I am not, but I believe in it with my whole heart. And had it not been for his influence on my father, and consequently myself, I may have overlooked, through sheer narrow-mindedness, the most wonderful person in my life.

So I owe Dr. King a debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace and may his legacy live on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On : 1/18/2005 6:10:35 AM Johnnie Walker (www) said:

Amen! :)


On : 1/18/2005 7:43:16 AM Kat (www) said:

Great post, Zelda.


On : 1/18/2005 2:28:06 PM Inanna (www) said:

Sing it sister....


On : 1/18/2005 8:10:46 PM wilde_thought (www) said:

If we only had more people pushing a vision of what the world should be the way Dr. Martin Luther King did. Well, we can all do our small parts. Blog on, girl!


On : 1/19/2005 7:13:26 PM Veronica (www) said:


On : 1/19/2005 7:14:20 PM Veronica (www) said:

You said it better than I could. I'm a huge fan of MLK.

I was moved by your post, thx so much.