Colbert King (Washington Post columnist), spoke to the regular forum held after the 9.15 morning service at St. Alban’s Parish Church, on Sunday, January 15, as the latest in a series of illustrious speakers to celebrate the public holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King. The speaker, Mr. King, said he was not related to Dr. King. Who knows, given their shared history as children of slaves, whether or not the two Kings are related? Not related because of their family names, perhaps, which are not truly theirs–gained most likely from previous owners, or supervisors of slaves. But, that’s for another discussion.
Mr. King’s presentation was sonorous, poignant, moving, and credible, as he recalled aspects of his life and former times when it was not taken for granted that black people in America could claim equal opportunities. He struck a deep chord in the hearts and minds of many who were listening. He sang a song from days when he attended a Baptist church in Foggy Bottom, and added chords that surprised many, too.
Mr. King reminded us that Dr. King was a man of words, but also a man of actions–both changed his life and the lives of countless others. “Life is not a spectator sport…,“ Jackie Robinson said. How true, that is. We knew how important it was for him to make it to first.
History books and living memories will hark back to the black bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. It hit where it hurts. But, will many think of the black busboy in his cot, who despite the gains made in the bigger scheme of things may feel that he is not living a life that is vastly different from his predecessors?
We are so thankful that Birmingham is not long ‘bombing Ham’.
We care and try to say nothing irreverent about the great reverend, Dr. King.
We understand better, I hope, what it means to say something off-colour concerning people of colour.
No doubt at all, gains have been many, and I would not wish to lessen them. Much has changed in America, but it seems that much remains the same. This city, and many others, remain highly segregated and opportunities for all are not the same. So, the job is not done.