Friday, April 4, 2008

I remember MLK 4/4--40 years ago

Even though my search is for long ago ancestors , I am cognizant that my own experiences are also important. They should also be recorded. This is not conceit. It is for future curious generations. If only my ancestors had been able to leave more bread crumbs, this research wouldn't be so difficult.

April 4, 1968. I remember exactly what I was doing on that day. That was the day that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It also was the day of my first ever date. It was a double date me, my first boy friend "Pluke," my aunt Adrene, Smitty and Mickey. I guess that is a double and a half date.

My church was holding a state convention in my city. Pluke and Mickey were from South Bend and was there to attend the convention. Smitty was an evangelist and he was holding a revival afterwards. We left church to get something to eat. I suggested Bianchi's, a restaurant that our family usually frequented. When we arrived, the whole restaurant was in a jovial mood. There were nothing but White customers and they were loudly celebrating the death of MLK like it was a new holiday. This freaked Adrene out. She demanded that we leave immediately. So we did.

The next day I read of the violence in other cities. Eventually some of it came to our city. Buildings were burned. Store owners marked their own businesses as "black owned" or the such. It was a very scary, very sad time.

I remember that many people did not like Martin Luther King, Jr. Blacks didn't like him because he wasn't militant enough. Whites didn't like him because he was against the Viet Nam War and wasn't patriotic enough.

Forty years later things have changed a great deal for the better. But this is the 21st century. We should have improved so very much more as human beings and citizens of the world.

I wonder what MLK would say about Obama's candidacy. I think I know what he would say about the Iraq war.

1 comment:

Taneya said...

you are so very right - it is important to record your memories.