I took Sunday morning in Atlanta to make a pilgrimage to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.
Over a two-hour visit, I observed a powerful video about the great man’s life, visited his birth house, watched the church-goers in Sunday finest at Ebenezer Baptist Church, sat in somber silence at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church sanctuary as I listened to a recording of a sermon MLK preached, and finally visited his grave.
This was a meaningful, tearful morning for me. I was born in 1961 in New Orleans, and while I don’t remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s in any personal way, I am a child of MLK’s time. My father and mother left Louisiana in 1964 in large part because of the local attitudes, in the big Baptist church, toward black men and women.
I was powerfully moved today.
From a plaque in a flower garden outside the visitor center, this poem:
MARTIN WAS A GOOD MAN
He taught us peace. He taught us love.
He taught us to be friends with one another.
And that was Martin Luther King.
He changed our lives peacefully.
He changed the world.
He made me have a big dream, too.
And even though he is gone;
He will still be in my mind and heart.
Eva Wamber, Grade 2
Southport Elementary School
West Sacramento, California