On March 26th 2017 Dick Gregory posted a most beautiful letter on his twitter page; the letter was earth moving for me and as I looked on at the pictures posted too. My mind went to Martin Luther King Jr.
There is a wonderful picture in the letter of Dick Gregory and Martin Luther king Jr. and when ever I see this one picture I think to myself:
We are all on a train going somewhere and Dick Gregory and Martin Luther King Jr. paid our fare.
I revisit today my most famous essay, THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING.
Martin Luther King Jr. one of the most dynamic leaders of the 20th century.
Each month a new street is named after this native son of Atlanta, Georgia.
Today, there are over 1,000 streets in America that bear his name.
When I wrote for Yahoo, I wrote three essays on Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Strong
Martin Luther King Jr. 50 Years Later
Facts About Dr. MLK Jr. You Should Know
In total I’ve written maybe 35 essays on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but the essay I’m most proud of
is THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING which I’m sharing here now.
We explore the boyhood of young Martin Luther King Jr. and I think the experiences of young Martin gives us better insight into the man and icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
At six-years old Martin Luther King Jr.’s two best friends in the whole world were two white boys,
brothers named, Tom and Billy. One day young Martin went to their house, which was next door to his and he knocked on the door of his two white playmates and the boy’s mother came to the door and the mother
of Tom and Billy told young Martin that her sons could no longer play together because Martin was black and Tom and Billy were white and then she slammed the door in young Martin’s face.
Young Martin went back home in astonishment, being confused and deeply troubled, he told his mother what happened. Martin’s mother a school teacher, tried her best to explain this ugly thing called
“Jim Crow” to young Martin. She went on trying to make him understand how some white people felt about black people. Martin never interrupted his mother, he stood there trying to understand this
“Jim Crow” thing and after she ran out of things to say; Martin spoke.
He is only six years old and he protest still at injustice, because his reasoning is deft, even at six.
Young Martin Luther King Jr. extended his arms before his mother and he cried passionately,
“BUT MOTHER, I’M NOT BLACK, I’M BROWN!”
Young Martin is absolutely right, he’s not black, he is in fact brown.
His mother was put in check by her six-year old son.
I hasten to add Martin Luther King Jr. came into the world named
Michael King Jr. but his father changed both their names from Michael King to
Martin Luther King.
As a minister’s son Martin Luther King Jr. spent a great amount of time in church listening to his father’s great oratory. One day 8-year old Martin Jr. tugged at his mother’s arm while in church and pointing to his father speaking he whispered to his mother: “Mother, one day, I’m gonna get me some big words too!”
–Martin Luther Jr. eight-years old.
At age 12 young Martin Luther King Jr. tried to commit suicide upon learning of his dear grandmother’s death from a heart attack. After coming home from a parade his parents told him not to go to,
Martin was informed of his grandmother’s death. Upon learning this, young Martin went up stairs and jumped from a second story window with the intent of taking his own life.
At age 15 young Martin was in a high school state-wide speaking contest that was held in Valdosta, Georgia, now Valdosta, Ga. is over 100 miles from Atlanta. Martin and his English teacher took the bus
to the speaking contest but, on the way back ten minutes after they were seated, white passengers boarded the bus, and they demanded that Martin and his English teacher get up and give up their seats.
Martin refused to move and was ready to go to jail; Martin’s English teacher pleaded with Martin to give up the seat, for she knew the whites would kill Martin. The English teacher knew the stories of blackmen who were killed on the bus for not giving up there seat to a white person.
The true story of Pfc Thomas Edwards Brooks a black Serviceman who was in full military uniform on a bus in Montgomery,Alabama where he was beaten by a white police officer and then shot in the back and killed is the type of climate of hate that young Martin was met with growing up.
The white policeman was never charged for killing Pfc Thomas Edwards Brooks.
Martin Luther King Jr. gave up his seat and he had to stand for over 100 miles.
I, Charles Micheaux read where, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said,
“I have never been so angry in my life.”
Martin Luther King Jr. came in second place in the state-wide oratory contest; many think he came in second place because the white newspapers would never put his picture in the newspapers as the top high school orator in the racist state of Georgia.
Important to note:
Martin Luther King Jr. knows even before the Rosa Parks event that took place many years later;
it was so appropriate that Dr. King would be the leader of the MIA. I cannot help to see God’s hand
revealed so many times in the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
At 17, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his first sermon the year was 1946, in his father’s church.
Here are the words of one of the most important men of the 20th century.
“God isn’t some distant figure, high on a thrown in the sky,
God is here. God is now. God is in each and everyone of you,
you have value, you matter.”
–Martin Luther King Jr.
Today is January 2nd 2018 and at Morehouse College this afternoon Keisha Lance Bottoms was sworn in as
Atlanta’s 60th Mayor of the great city of Atlanta. I’m sure Dr. King smiles from heaven as more of his dream
is realized in 2018.
GOOGLE: Pfc Thomas Edwards Brooks to read more about his life and death.