|Designs Mag - Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. Timeline 2015|
I believe the little girl with Dr. Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King is Yolanda. She is deceased now along with her parents, but her niece namesake just spoke at the March For Our Lives, looking remarkably like her iconic grandfather. Despite all the reveals of Dr. King as a flawed philanderer as investigative journalists are apt to do, he was at the end of the day a husband, a man and a father. As he said on the previous day, "longevity has its place." His death came year-to-date of his denouncement of his nation's involvement in Vietnam, that would eventually claim the lives of almost 60,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen, affecting survivors with post traumatic stress disorder; drug abuse, alcoholism and suicide. Total deaths numbered in the millions. Had he lived, I'm sure he would have addressed these concerns as part of his vision of "The Beloved Community," which ostensibly included all of humanity.
I would hear my parents cry.
They would still be crying as they tried to get through their daily routine. Getting me ready for kindergarten at Bethlehem Community Center. I had seen my mother cry on occasion - church, funerals - my father's eyes were red and his hands trembled as we drove from our home to school. They were both worried about my older sister - a youth active in the Civil Rights movement. They briefly didn't know here whereabouts. The worry hung over the home like a dark veil. I was too: like every march, every demonstration where it wasn't guaranteed she'd get out of it alive. It was a lot for someone new to the planet sometimes. She turned up, heartbroken. She and my mother hugged each other and cried, inconsolably.
This was a time of emotions - rough, raw and gut-wrenching. I was five years old. I didn't know what to feel until I arrived at Bethlehem.
I remember seeing this the night before from my father's lap:
But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
I didn't quite understand his eloquence. I asked my father. It was April 3, 1968. He honestly didn't know.
These broadcasts were probably what caused the walls of hope to come crashing around my family: