M.L.K.Day & #6 Writing Exercise
Today we give honor as a nation to the life and works of Reverent Martin Luther King Jr. – Pastor, and a leading activist in the struggle to claim not only for the Negro but for every citizen of these United States, their unalienable rights – in other words, the fixed rights given to us by our creator – “that of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
If you’d like to know more about unalienable rights, cut and paste the following link to your browser. http://www.unalienable.com/unalien.htm
The last line from his 1963 speech “I Have A Dream…” reads as follows.
“When we allow freedom to ring – when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, We are free at last.”
As important it is to remember our heros it is important to remember the history that has pushed them to heroic acts.
Below is a portion of a letter written by Rev Martin Luther King Jr at the time of his imprisonment in Birmingham, Alabama during August of 1963. It was composed in response to criticism he’d received after a nonviolent protest against segregation in that city and for which he was jailed.
“We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our God-given and constitutional rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say “wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she cannot go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son asking in agonizing pathos, “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger” and your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodyness” — then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.”
That ends my History lesson for today which brings us to our writing exercise on day 6 of –
A 12 Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises by Brian Klems as published on Writer’s Digest.com
Your next assignment is as follows.
Select a book from your shelf and pick two chapters at random. Take the first line of one chapter and the last line of the other and write a short story (no more than 1000 words) using those as bookends to your story.
Until tomorrow, Write On 🙂
~ K.L. Parry