Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Remembering Martin

Today is the birthday of Martin Luther King and in honor of his birthday,
our book club invited author Jonathan O'Dell to speak to us and share his
experiences of growing up in Mississippi in the 50's and 60's.

First we read his book, The View from Delphi, based somewhat on his early life.
The book is set in a small early pre-civil rights community.
It tells the story of two young mothers Hazel and Vida, who find a common ground
because they have both lost a son.
Hazel's husband hires Vida to be a housekeeper and caretaker to his wife and to watch over their young son Johnny.
They start as adversaries, but soon Hazel and Vida discover a friendship that grows through out the story.

When Jonathan spoke to us, it wasn't long before we all realized this was the story of his family and he was
the character Johnny, from the book.

He told us when his mother comes to some of his lectures she will raise her hand and tell the people there, she didn't do everything Hazel did in the book.
But Jonathan said "she did most of it," he just changed some of the events.

He is now a resident in Minnesota, and here he sees a different type of racism.
One that many Northerners don't want to admit they feel.
Spending my morning listening to Jonathan , made this a special way to remember Martin Luther King.

It was a sad day when he died, and followed shortly by the tragic death of Robert Kennedy.

I have always wondered what this world would have been like if those two men were still here.


Foster Communications said...

A better place, indeed.

Then again, I'd like to think something positive came from their deaths. Maybe the events woke people up, brought more people to action, to do what they could in the spirit of continuation.

There I go again, the PR girl with the positive spin....

Riot Kitty said...

Thanks for this. I, too, wonder what would have happened if Dr. King and RFK were still alive...and especially if RFK had become president instead of Nixon.

fineartist said...

What a lovely post G, and I so love me some Martin Luther King, and RFK, oh and can't forget JFK too.

My grandmother had such a collection of JFK stuff, several albums, a bronze bust, three tapestries, several books, a painting, I have them all in storage, until I have a home where I can place them with respect as my house is small, except for the bust, my little brother loved it so much he has it in his living room.

I used to belong to a book club, we would meet every two weeks at the local library to discuss our latest book. I miss going but we met on Tuesday nights and for me, after I've worked all day long and if I have to work the next day, I stay home on week nights. Heh, funny, I remember once a man joined our book club, the only man we had in attendance and he chose a rather raunchy mouthed book for us to read, I don't remember the name of it, I do remember it was a good read though. But anyway, there he was leading the review and quoting from the book, dropping the f-bomb repeatedly, I thought a couple of the women were going to have a heart attack, heh, most of us laughed though.


Michael Manning said...

Yes, both were great men. What I find so remarkable is that Dr. King at the last minute decided to deviate from his prepared speech on The Washington Capitol. I had the privilege of visiting Dr. and Mrs. Kings Memorial resting place in Atlanta. In the bookstore. his sermons played over ceiling speakers were filled with such clarity! I agree with Jessica that their spirit and hard work must live on and be put to good use! I too am positive!!