August 28, 2003
Dreaming on

Today is the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. I don't know what to add to the commentaries on it, except a bit of family lore.

For many years, I thought my mother marched in the March on Washington, where King gave the speech. Of course, I thought it was totally cool. But later when I mentioned it I learned that it was actually a different civil-rights march she was in, one protesting that church bombing that killed the four little girls. My mother lived in D.C. at the time, and this march was much more ad-hoc than the big March. "There was just a feeling you had to do something," she recalled. "You had to get as many bodies out there as you could."

I guess this is a good example of how family legends get started -- you want to attach your forbears to those moments in history that everybody remembers. But I still think it's very cool that she was part of that, especially since my mom is so not the protester type. Some people seem to be natural-born rabble-rousers itching to find a cause; but my mother, like much of my family, is introverted and cerebral, seeing the complications of every issue and loath to think in black and white. But at a moment that cried out for justice, she stood for justice. Go Mom!

Posted by Camassia at August 28, 2003 12:14 PM | TrackBack
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