Unfinished Business for MLK

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“You will never say goodbye to the past, until you understand why the flashbacks haunt you.”Shannon L. Alder

Today on All Things Fulfilling, we’ll celebrate the birthday of one of the most influential civil rights activists of all time, Martin Luther King. His work to erase racial segregation and racial equality for all was tireless. Sadly, his unfinished business in Memphis is still a work in progress in our country.

We’ll take a trip through images to Memphis, Tennessee situated along the Mississippi River. The city’s cultural roots run deep and it’s known for his rich music heritage. Beale Street abounds with eateries of it’s famous barbeque and sounds of rhythm and blues, gospel, jazz. It’s also known as the birthplace of rock and roll.

The Orpheum Theatre is historically significant and today it plays an important role in educating children. Their belief is that “when kids find art, they find themselves.” Many celebrities have performed in this theatre whose beginnings date back to 1890, when it was then known as the Grand Opera House. In 1907 it was renamed at The Orpheum.

Memphis 57 signed

orpheum horse and carriage 2 (best one) signed

memphis 52 orpheum history of star signed

WC Hand sign at museum signed

Beale Street signed

nat d williams first black radio announ

BB King books signed

miss pollys neon sign signed

blues cafe signed

 

girl sitting on window sill signed

Tragically, Martin Luther King’s life ended on April 4, 1969 in Memphis, Tennessee during a time of racial tension and upheaval. It was a period of unrest in my own life also. I write about this time in Chapter 21 Someone to Watch Over Her in my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

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Etching the Psyche

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“…realize that there is only one ‘race,’ – the human race, and we are all members of it.” ~ Margaret Atwood

There have been so many monumental national and worldwide historical events that have occurred throughout my lifetime – man walking on the moon, the Equal Rights Amendment, Watergate, the tearing down of the China Wall, space shuttle Challenger exploding, The Persian War, the collapse of the Twin Towers, just to name a few. But, none of these events have been etched as deeply into my psyche as the Baltimore riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Indeed, “the sixties” was a time of revolution including trends in clothing, music, education and social order in general. Drug experimentation and rebellions on college campuses was indicative of the turbulent times.

I remember when I was eleven I thought that the arrival of the Beatles in the United States was newsworthy of unmatched historical proportions. But by the time I turned fifteen, I had matured in my thinking and I grasped the fact that upheavals in the political and racial climate were were hugely more consequential in nature. A national shift in culture far greater than the Beatles. I was well-tuned into the events around the death of Martin Luther King and tried hard as a teenager to understand the radical changes that our country was undergoing.

baltimore sun MLK headlinesIn one chapter of my memoir I recall the feelings I had one morning as I sat at the kitchen table reading the headlines and the reports in the Baltimore Sun Newspaper. I felt as if I was sitting amid a battlefield I had so many scary, anxious thoughts running through my mind.

Thank God my thoughts running rampant were very different than reality for me. But for so many people residing within the boundaries of the inner city of Baltimore my thoughts were a reality of their living conditions.

I have some fun things planned for next week  All Things Fulfilling on Monday. We will be celebrating twin week. Have a good weekend!