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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Monday, January 16, 2006

Happy Birthday MLK Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 77 years old yesterday.

Twenty years ago, I fell in love with the man who is now my husband. He called me up at three in the morning and said, "You have to listen to this." He read to me, in a chokey voice, words from a collection of MLK Jr's sermons. I don't remember which words they were, or what sermon. But I was so moved that he was so moved. That he would disregard the clock and call me up to share such a thing. And it gave me the first inkling of knowing that this was the beginning of many such sharings.

Thanks to Gayle for reminding me. And thanks to Salon for letting us listen to his words again. Take one minute to listen to his "I have been to the mountaintop" speech. Goosebumps, and a few tears.

Think about what we can do to honor him. I'm thinking about that today. When my girls were little, we used to bake a birthday cake and sing to him. We haven't done that for years, and it seems a little corny. But it also seems wrong to let the day slip by without commemorating, and contemplating, his life and work.


Blogger melanie said...

That is a wonderful speech. MLK was a moving orator; his words and his preacher's cadence...it gives me chills whenever I hear it.

Last night I saw this episode of the animated series "The Boondocks", based on the comic strip of the same name; the main character, Huey, imagines what the world would have been like if MLk had not died but been in a coma, then awoken in 2000. It was thought-provoking; it made me wonder what would MLK of the progress we have (and haven't) made...

Monday, January 16, 2006 12:16:00 PM

Anonymous Anne said...

I was also thinking about MLK’s Mountain speech yesterday. I heard Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles talk about it on Al Franken’s radio show, and was shocked by how prescient his speech was (delivered the evening before his death) and also how much it still moves us. I like your ritual of celebrating the day with your daughters. I’d like to do something with my daughter as she gets older. (She is only two now.) I can’t wait to tell her all about him. There is something about MLK day that seems so much more inspiring than Chirstmas.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 8:45:00 AM


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