Our Visit to the King Center: A Photo Blog

Visit to the King Center : Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Earlier this month, we loaded the kids up in the car and went to visit the King Center.  My older daughter had been to the King Center before, but unfortunately she was too little to have really understood exactly what the Civil Rights movement or Dr. King’s dream was about.  And so, with  blatant racism, and bigotry being displayed everywhere these days, we thought that it was important for us to remind our children of their significant heritage.

As a parent, I always err on the side of caution when it comes to telling my kids the gruesome and graphic details of life/history.  My philosophy on that is that they have their whole lives to be adults and to deal with such things.  And, I simply don’t want them living in fear.  But, as we were walking through the King Museum and I was trying my best to answer all their questions and explain the things we saw.  I was reminded that the Civil Rights movement was not just for adults.  There were several children on the front lines standing up for what they believed was right.  And, it brought me back to the famous quote by George Santayana, “that those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Surprisingly enough, I do not have too much to say about our trip other than to say that it was a humbling and solemn experience.  It filled me with both great pride and waves of grief.  Pride because of the long journey that our ancestors took on behalf of the very inalienable rights we are supposed to have today.  And, grief for those who lost their loved ones in the struggle and continue to do so in the name of upward mobility and dreams yet to be actualized.

Visit to the King Center - A Day On ... Not A Day Off

A Visit to the King Center : Call To Lead

A Visit to the King Center: Signs from Marches

A Visit to the King Center: Freedom March

I'm Black and Beautiful.

I hope that you enjoyed these pictures that my husband took and, if you are ever in the Atlanta area definitely put this on your list of places to see.  It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.  How do you deal with telling your children about things that are unpleasant?  Do you sugar coat it, or give it to them straight?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, in the comments below.

If I could turn back time…

If I could turn back time...

Photo Source: Getty Images

if i could turn back time….I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE LIVED IN THE 60’S AND PARTICIPATED IN THE MARCH TO WASHINGTON.

I have always been fascinated by history, and often wished I could turn back time.  One of my favorite classes was Humanities, because it was not just about history, but it was about culture. The dictionary describes culture as the sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, music and art, from one generation to the next.  So maybe I should say that my fascination is with how the events of history have shaped our culture.

My daughter recently asked me if I could go back in time and witness or take place in any event what would it be?  I admit I had to think hard on that one.  I often felt I was born in the wrong era, because there is so much that I would have liked to participate in that occurred before my time.  Hairstyles and fashion that I would have liked to wear. Music that I would have loved to dance to.  But, eventually I told her that it would have to be the March to Washington in 1963.  I wish I could have participated in the organization of it, made that journey and stood on those steps to hear Dr. King Deliver his “I have a Dream Speech”.

Why you ask?  I have never listened to part or parcel of Dr. King’s speech without having goosebumps and being physically affected by his words.  As scary as that time must have been for all those championing change. I assume that the feeling of promise had to be euphoric.  Just the idea that your beliefs, your sacrifice and your actions could affect the course of history or change the lives of your children and grandchildren had to be awe inspiring.  I wonder if they thought about it that way, or if they were just putting one foot in front of the other and hoping that they would make it home to their families unharmed.  I wonder if they really could see the vision that Dr. King had or if they just knew that there had to be a better way.

By the time the the 60’s rolled around African Americans had already suffered through and had been “released” from slavery, however, I believe that expectation was still a new thing to the masses.  As a parent, I can’t imagine not being able to tell my child and believe it that he or she could be anything that they aspired to be.  I can only imagine how difficult it was to raise a child during that age, when you had to worry about teaching them principles and values and worrying about them being killed for standing up for those same things.  I can’t imagine how hard it was to speak light into someone who was already feeling defeated by the climate and circumstances. All things being considered, I still envy those hope peddlers, who gave those young men and women a voice, a dream, a vision to strive towards.

So if I could turn back time, I would like to have been on those steps to hear Dr. King deliver his speech, to see the light go on in my children’s eyes and know that they understood their worth and that they grasped all that he was saying.  That they felt the dream he was speaking directly into their hearts.  And, even though the vision lives on in all of us, it still hasn’t fully been realized.  I don’t think anyone could have imagined that we would still be fighting some of these same battles in 2016.  But, here we are still trying to be hope peddlers but to a generation that sometimes doesn’t even fully grasp the struggle.

If you could go back in time where would you land, and why?

Read More About The Greatness From Whence We Came Here.

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Not Just Another Three Day Weekend – MLK Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his lovely wife, Coretta Scott-King

Photo Credit:

As I planned out my blog post for the month of January, this particular blog post was at the top of my list.  But, I must admit that I struggled with exactly what I would say.  I wanted to make sure that what I wrote truly conveyed my feelings and did the subject justice.

As a child being introduced to Black History, I remember being in awe of Dr. King, his message, his diplomacy, his grace in the face of adverse conditions, and mostly his commitment. I devoured anything that I could find and read about the Civil RIghts Movement and not just about Dr. King, but Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson (to name a few). I have always felt connected to Dr. King on a personal level.  Because, his legacy to me, lies in more than just the civil rights movement.  It lies in the personal struggle and sacrifice, that both he and his family made for the future of a nation. I am reverenced by the very thought of it.

As a mother, and a wife, I can’t quite wrap my head around the bravery that it must have taken for Dr. King and others who participated in the movement, to leave their families and walk straight into what could ultimately be their last day on earth, over and over again.  I cant imagine the state of sheer panic, that their families felt everyday. But, I assume that it would be something similar to what military spouses or the families of first responders experience.  I think that is why I have always had such respect for Coretta Scott King and others widowed by the cause, because I can only imagine the magnitude of loss that they suffered in the name of FREEDOM.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Not Just Another Three Day Weekend

Photo Credits:

I often use the word humbled to describe the emotion that washes over me, when I take the time to sit down and fully grasp the fact that so many died so that we could LIVE.  If I am being totally honest, I am not sure that I could have made that kind of sacrifice, for people that I didn’t know, for people who didn’t support me, or even for people who were angered by the fact that I wanted more for them.  And, it always propels me toward the fact that their behavior can be described as nothing less than Christ-like.  Not because they were perfect or without sin or flaws.  But, because they, like Christ, died so that we could  have life and have it more abundantly.(John 10:10)  What an Awesome Gift!!

So, when I think of MLK Jr. Day, I don’t think of it as just anther 3 day weekend. I don’t think of it as being just about ONE man and his legacy and his dream. But, for me, it’s a day to celebrate, acknowledge and honor the sacrifices that were made in the name of Progressive Change.  What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you?

Martin Luther King Junior Quote - Letter from Birmingham Jail

The Greatness From Whence we Came — A Tribute to Black History Month

During the month of February(Black History Month), I have been sharing Black History Facts on our Facebook Page.  And, I was amazed at how much I didn’t know, almost every person that I shared, I either didn’t know about before, or knew nothing of the scope of their contribution to society.

The Greatness from Whence We Came - A Tribute to Black History Month

The whole experience left me in awe of the “greatness from whence we came”.  The ability to overcome and conquer the circumstances under which we were forced to live and the injustices that we had to endure created DIAMONDS.  “When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” – Peter Marshall

Our contributions to this country are immeasurable and continuous. These quotes by many of the “GREATS”, give a glimpse into the struggle and those who fought to not be defined by it.

If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything . . . that smacks of discrimination or slander. – Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) “Certain Unalienable Rights”
It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others. . . . One ever feels his twoness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warrings ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. -W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. . . . Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. – Zora Neale Hurston (1901-1960) “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” (1928)
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. – Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) Up From Slavery (1901)

I am both proud and humbled.