On this gray (and on-and-off snowy) Saturday, I have been busy doing things around the house and errands outside of the house. I missed the RRBC “Eyes on the Book” session because I was involved in something else and looked up, noticing that the clock said 12:45 (11:45 CT). I’ll have to watch the recorded version.
I took a pile of papers to the bank to be shredded, then I went to the used bookstore to see if they had a copy of the collected works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow My sister finally came to visit me a couple of days ago (she lives in southwest Virginia now, the town where our dad grew up). She was looking for such an anthology. We had a few poetry collections but not that one (note to self, the English major: Henry Wordsworth is NOT Longfellow!). My sister is staying at a friend’s house and had picked up an Longfellow anthology published in 1893. She was looking for that specific collection, but I’m sure if I tried to find that one, it would be classified as an antique. I ordered her a modern-day version at the location independent bookstore.
In about an hour, I’ll be heading off to do my radio show. I will play several songs to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. for his birthday. On the Boston Common yesterday, the city unveiled an emotional sculpture, “The Embrace,” depicting him and Coretta Scott King. It’s their arms embracing one another. They met on the Boston Common when MLK Jr. was pursuing his doctorate in theology at Boston University. To read an Associated Press article about “The Embrace” and see a photo of it, click on the following link:
I was 19 when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee and a journalism student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The general sentiment on campus was, in effect, “He was asking for it, but it’s too bad it had to happen in Tennessee.” MLK Jr. was one of my idols back then. He was a man of peace, working for equality and for the poor of our country. He was in Memphis to stand by striking garbage workers, all Black, who hadn’t had a monetary raise for a long time. They carried signs that read, “I am a MAN!” He inspired me to become involved in the Civil Rights Movement myself–a teenaged White girl with a mother from Boston and a father from southwestern Virginia. Boston had its own racism issues, mostly associated with school desegregation at the time.
It is because of this that I honor him every year on my radio show. So many songs have been written for him, and so many people don’t even know about the poignancy of the music and the lives he touched–young and old, Black and White, and everyone in between. He sought dignity and justice for all. He still holds a place deep in my heart.