During my life, Martin Luther King's battle for desegregation was fought far away from Idaho. Though I digested what I read and heard of the news, our blue collar town was made up of white, mostly Mormon residents, farmers and the transitory migrant farm workers. On that score I could easily make the connection between poor working conditions, wage or religious discrimination. Our town had a small population of African Americans living on one side of the tracks who worshipped at a Baptist church across the highway from the Safeway store where my mother worked. I was thirteen when King gave his famous 'I have a dream' speech which opened my heart to a larger problem that I had been distracted and insulated from living out West.
When Rev. King was assassinated forty years ago this week, I was suffering from senioritis, more than ready to graduate high school the next month. It was an election year and I was excited about Senator Frank Church's reelection and Bobby Kennedy's running for president. But the word assassination had already taken up residence in my subconscious, right next door to atomic bombs. Little did I know that just a month after my graduation my hopes about the nation's future would die a slow, tortuous death in the next few years. That's when I learned one of the biggest lessons of my life: things change and then they change again. (words borrowed from Nicoloe Krauss' novel, The History of Love.)
I can recommend this particular video of Bobby Kennedy's words about the King assassination. They seem hauntingly familiar today.
Our Sunday Scribbling's prompt this week is photograph. See more photos here.