Tag: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I Have Been to the Mountaintop

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968 I Have Been to the Mountaintop And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don’t know …

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For Dr. King

This diary is a re-publication of an essay from April, 2008.  It seems worth publishing again in honor of Dr. King.

I’m thinking about times almost forty years ago when I sang, “We Shall Overcome.” I’m remembering how I felt when I sang it, holding hands, swaying, anticipation in the air. I loved the idea of walking hand in hand, black and white together, and at the same time there was always a tension, a tightness in my jaw and in the pit of my stomach, the presence of fear. The song’s purpose was to get ready to do what had to be done. I’m committed to nonviolence, I recall thinking, but there are those who are not. They shot James Meredith, and lynched Emmitt Till, and burned Greyhound buses, and unlike me, they don’t want me to be safe. Uncertainty about what will happen tightens my jaw, while my heart commits me to the cause.