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The Power of a Dream

In 1965 my parents purchased a new home at a “discount” in Silver Spring, MD just outside of Washington, DC. It was discounted because the neighbors to either side were inter-racially married ... then illegal in Maryland. While my parents had never found offense in it ... anti-miscegenation laws barring interracial marriage weren't struck down by The United States Supreme Court until two (2) years later in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). Regrettably ... in that place ... at that time ... the issue of race was never far from our minds. For example, we weren't allowed to get the mail because "people" would send letter bombs to our black or inter-racially married neighbors.

As a small child, I remember hearing about Dr. King and his dream. I remember his assassination on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, TN. I remember seeing the newspaper with his picture on the front page on the day he was murdered. I remember how disappointed my parents were at his loss. I remember Washington, DC bursting into flames. I remember hearing my father tell my mother that the troops had surrounded the Capital Building and White House and that there was rioting in and outside of the city. I remember leaving town ... seeing people running ... fires ... troops and police from the back of our Buick Skywagon as we left town not expecting to see our house in tact upon our return.

As an adult,

I see that there has been tremendous progress. But, (shamefully) work remains. While I am mindful that we may not be where we need to be … or where we should be ... or where we want to be ... praise God, Dr. King, and those who have struggled for equality since those (and worse) days ... we're not where we used to be.


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