Monday, August 22, 2011

B18. A Dream Set in Stone

August 28, 1963 some 250,000 civil rights advocates marched on Washington DC for jobs and freedom.  It was during this march that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

(photo property of Wikipedia)

I was not quite 21 months old, probably not doing a lot of marching yet, nor with any awareness of any civil unrest in the world.

August 28, 2011, however, 48 years later, I will be watching with great excitement as the Martin Luther King Memorial is dedicated not far from that same spot.  As a proud founding sponsor of the project, I've been watching with excitement for a few years.

Why?  Because MLK had a dream that every oppressed American has shared throughout history, and he believed in it so much that he courageously devoted his life to making it come true, a dream that one day we would all work and play together without regard to the color of our skin.  He died for his dream, without ever seeing it fulfilled; and although we are much closer today than we were 48 years ago, and the 2008 presidential election proved that the dream is possible, racism and oppression are still alive and flourishing.  White supremacist groups speckle the map, offensive flags and hateful bumperstickers adorn our properties, and in Surry County, NC, white citizens choose daily to eat in an establishment that closes its doors to blacks and hispanics.  This brings grief to my soul.  There is no food that good.  None.

I won't get to be in DC Sunday for the monument dedication.  I'll be viewing it through the media's eyes. But last month I was fortunate to sneak a peak while the work was still being completed.  Enjoy these in-progress photos from that visit:

The Stone of Hope, hewn from the Mountain of Despair

MLK's statue overlooks this aquatic view of the Jefferson Memorial

Restricted - Under Construction

Visual reminders that each of us owns the power to change the world, to live together peaceably despite our diversity.  I too am a dreamer . . .

Note:  Due to Hurricane Irene, the dedication was postponed for a later date.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

I am sitting here reading your blog with chills running up and down my arms. I had no idea what a fantastic, awesome, intelligent cousin I have in you, Kathy. A first cousin at that - so we are pretty close kin. I am so thankful for that. What a heritage our family has.

I can't wait to read more of your blog. I just had no idea...