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A dream fulfilled?

04.4.2008 by André Natta · → Leave a comment

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Editor’s note: This is the first of two editorials written today about 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It was written by The Terminal’s editorial assistant for this spring, Leah Walcott. Ms. Walcott is currently a senior at Miles College in Fairfield, AL.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullifications; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and girls as sisters and brothers…”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., March on Washington 1963.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We would like to celebrate his life and the many achievements that he made in Birmingham. As I sit back to read the famous “I Have a Dream” speech given August 28, 1963, I ask myself is Dr. King’s dream actually fulfilled here in the birth place of Civil Rights. For the most part it is, but there still is much to be desired.

African Americans are allowed to vote, sit anywhere they want, drink from the same water fountain as Caucasians, and date outside their race without getting grief from the public. Young African Americans are able to attend schools with Caucasian children, and they are able to interact with them freely. However I believe, Dr. King would be disappointed to see the violence between African Americans here in our city. He would be disappointed to see that some of our fathers are not taking care of their responsibilities, and leaving mothers to raise their children on their own. It’s sad that so many people take for granted their right to vote, and they feel as though their vote does not count.

He would be shocked to see that schools in the city of Birmingham are infested with violence and teen pregnancy, and the teaching materials are sub-standard compared to other schools.

The neighborhoods on the western side of town are dead. Those places that were once places of refuge have become empty, unused, abandoned buildings.

Even though the racial problems have digressed, we still have other problems to face such as teen pregnancy, the high syphilis rate in Jefferson County, black on black crime and domestic violence.

So I ask you – do you feel Dr. King’s dream is fulfilled?

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