This morning, Hubby and I talked with the kiddos about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When I asked Abby if she knew who MLK was, she said yes; she saw a picture of him in her classroom. I asked her if she knew why we celebrate his life. She answered that he helped the “brown” children and the “peach” children go to the same school.
We discussed the many gross inequities in our country’s history and how Dr. King’s goal was to have people judged “not…by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.
We watched moments of his powerful, goose-bump giving 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream.” We talked about the significance of the inauguration of our country’s first African American president, Barack Obama.
After we wrapped our impromptu history lesson, I asked Abby what she now knew about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She answered,
“He dreamed a dream that everyone would be safe.”
Oh, a child’s perspective. Simultaneously innocent and wise.
I often reflect on the history of our country. Living in Little Rock, where one of the most notable Civil Rights moments occurred, I often take note of the currents. For instance, I could’ve done cartwheels when we first visited Abby’s new Kindergarten class and saw all the beautiful, diverse faces sitting around that room. My heart still skips each time I visit her classroom and see so many different faces smiling at me.
Dr. King also dreamed that, “one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
Well, Dr. King, we’re not in Alabama, but just a little west, here in Arkansas. I see those children holding hands daily. The little “brown” boys and girls, the little “peach” boys and girls, the little Hispanic boys and girls, the little Asian boys and girls…they all hold hands.
Thank you, Dr. King.
(And thank you, Abby, for getting it.)