Friday, April 04, 2008

Martin Luther King: Remembrances

I remember the news coming muffled to my room from my parents' room across a narrow hallway, where a black-and-white set stood on a metal stand, recounting the unaccountable tale of an assassin's bullet cutting down the leader of a people.

I remember the men of my all-white town whispering of getting guns. Fresh were the memories from the summer before of the orange skies above Newark, the majority-black city of which our white-flight town was a suburb.

I remember hearing of cities erupting around the country and even directly to our south, in Trenton, the destination of class trips to the barracks of the Hessians.

I remember telling classmates the day after the assassination that Negroes did not deserve the welfare that our parents' work had paid for.

I remember things of which I am not yet able to speak.

A lyrical and visceral remembrance from the other side of the divide comes from Reuben Jackson, D.C.'s own bard, who delivered a stunning essay today on WAMU's "Metro Connection."

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO REUBEN JACKSON'S REMEMBRANCE OF APRIL 4, 1968

UPDATE: At The American Prospect Online, Kai Wright reminds us that Martin Luther King was a true radical, not the Mr. Rogers in blackface that popular media would have us believe in.

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