I have a dream that one day…
little black boys and black girls
will be able to join hands with
little white boys and white girls
as sisters and brothers.
I have a dreams today!
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
August 28, 1963
I believe it is safe to say that we all know this powerful speech. We all understand what Dr. Martin Luther King stood for and how he changed the world. What we may not know is how he became such an extraordinary man who, in his own words, wanted to turn the world upside down. The book, My Brother, Martin by Christine King Farris shares childhood memories of the only surviving member of the King family. Nicknamed M.L. by his family, the book includes the antics of a boy who gradually learned that the world was not equal.
In the afterword of the book, Christine King Farris says she “wanted to reflect another side of Martin’s life story. The days that I spent with him, watching him, as we grew older, were valuable and meaningful exercises for me. They set him on his ultimate course”. From watching his dad refuse to accept prejudice to loosing a childhood friend due to the color of his skin, these events lead Martin on his ultimate path to becoming a leader for equality. According to Christine, it was the promise he made to his mother, just as a little boy, that set him down that road.
My favorite excerpt from the book is this…
“Why do white people treat colored people so mean?
She answered simply, Because they just don’t understand that everyone is the same, but someday, it will be better. And my brother M. L. looked up into our mother’s face and said the words I remember to this day. He said, Mother Dear, one day I’m going to turn this world upside down“
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