Astronomy Picture of the Day

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Had a Dream

I listened to Martin Luther King's speech again
since I knew he would have it on.
Just as MLK talked about the mountaintops,
a tear came to my eye,
such a perfect speech in form, content,
feeling, message.
The sun came up over the mountains
and I snapped this one, above.

I wanted to tell a story today of my dream.

In the Second grade, I had a dream.
It was 1965 or so.
I had suffered the first grade with learning to play with others,
something I still struggle with.

My 2nd grade teacher was always there, smiling and loving us.
We knew all of us were loved.
The words I was learning to write,
and their meaning.
the words together,
started catching my interest more
and more.

One day, a fellow student
(he is a black child, though I have no idea he is different in anyway)
and I decided we would write a book.
That was one of the most exciting thoughts to me.
A Book,
like the ones on Mom's bookshelf,
like the ones in the library,
like the ones that made people famous,
We made plans to meet after school,
We were writing a
Book.

Fast forward to my neuro appointment last week,
My doctor saying,
"You missed your calling,
you are a good writer"
and me sitting there,
thinking of my little friend
in the second grade
I am 3rd from right in the front row.
Many years later, I saw this photo again and realized he
was the only male black child in my class.

When I announced to my father that I was going to write a book
with this young black child,
My father went ballistic.

That is when I learned what racism was.
I fought with him hard and lost.
I could not go to
that neighborhood...
aka
lower town...

I was so angry with him and have had a little anger in there left.
Still my father grew up in the south side of St Louis
in a German neighborhood. As time went on, urban blight
destroyed some of the neighborhoods. Blamed on black people.
Dad also delivered mail and told me he knew a lot
about people by the mail they received.
That confused me more than reassured me.
Now I know it is a lie.
You really do not know what people are about
by their mail.

I had a dream to write a book,
missed my calling, and gave up a fight with my father,
All while 7 years old.

Today, the dream,
remembered,
through MLK's voice,
resounding,
powerful,
gentle,
real.

My father,
I will always love dearly,
and I forgive,
in all his prejudice,
he was trying to protect me and was there for me.
He did not know it is not the color of a person's skin
that tells their character.
he learned it,
prejudice is learned
and can be
un-learned...

Them is us
We are them
We are all
I have a dream.

for Martin Luther King's info:

4 comments:

  1. Well said indeed, growing up in North Minneapolis, we had race riots in high school. Didn't understand why or what it was about. All my friends lived in the neighborhood white, black or other didn't really matter we were all poor. One black guy told me he was going to beat me up, because of what my great,X4 grandfather did to his told him the truth my family was still in Norway and Germany after that didn't have any real trouble.

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  2. Thanks Judy & Mary, and have a great week. mary

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