Monday, January 19, 2009

Overcome

For this auspicious MLK day, I went to the Museum of Tolerance for a special day they were having. I went with my friend Kenya and some of her friends. We were a nice ethnic mix. We watched a very moving play, Living Voices: The Right to Dream. It was an interactive play, combining video and sound with theater. It told the story of a woman caught up in the civil rights movement, complete with pictures and images of the times. Bus boycotts, the Battle of Birmingham and Edmund Pettus Bridge, the March on Washington, the Freedom Rides, all of it; Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman, all who fought. It was extremely well done, and the combination of the play and the moment we are witnessing really got me. First it was chills, then spilled into into full-fledged welling up. I ended up overflowing like a bathtub. The struggle for civil rights culminating 45 years later, and arriving at the doorstep of the White House and of history. The weight of history, hope and change caught me, and left me overcome as tears fell like rain.

Once I collected myself, we went to see the rest of the museum. There was a very well done exhibit about genealogy and the family history of famous Americans like Billy Crystal, Maya Angelou and Joe Torre. All very moving. After the genealogy exhibit, we returned to the MLK events, and watch a movie produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center on "The Children's March" and the role that school children played in the Battle of Birmingham. The fury of Bull Connor and his hoses, clubs and dogs battling against the hope of children fighting for equality. We still have a long way to go, but looking back those 45 years and looking to tomorrow, we have come so far.

Tomorrow is such a momentous day, but for today I will let Dr. King finish this blog:

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