Friday, April 4, 2008

April 4, 1968

One of my earliest historical memories: turning on my little transistor radio in April 1968 — my 6-year-old self loved to dance to rock-and-roll radio before school — and hearing news reports of Dr. King’s death. I could tell it was important, since grave words pre-emptied the music (this was likely the day after, since it was early morning). But when I got to school and asked my kindergarten teacher what had happened, she told me it wasn’t something little girls should worry about. When my classmates also asked her if an important man had died, she grew cross and told us we were misbehaving. I’m not sure how she might have framed a better response to a room full of kindergartners — but 40 years on I hope to find a more suitable way to honor the man and the day. In that spirit, I wanted to share the 1963 March on Washington “I Have A Dream” speech:

Today’s mitzvah: Take 17 minutes out of the day to listen to the speech that never gets old.

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