16 January 2007

Family MLK Lore

Every family has cherished lore. I picked up another piece of that from my father today (I think I had been told before, but forgot it), about our personal connection the the world of our legendary national hero, Martin Luther King, Jr., whose father, Martin Luther King, Sr., was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, the city where I was born.

When we moved to Atlanta, we lived downtown, and went to Ebenezer Baptist Church when Mom was pregnant with you. Martin Luther King, Sr., was the pastor, and he was a colorful figure.

This can be added to the stories I remember about my parents days in Atlanta concerning the Hungry Club Forum at the Butler Street YMCA, one of city's famed citywide forums that sought (and still does, so far as I known) to prompt interracial dialog.

My parents were, of course, basically carpet bagger white northern liberals (hailing from the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and Northern Ohio, respectively) at the time they were in Atlanta, a group disproportionately represented among white Democrats in the South. They were brought there after my father's completion of graduate studies in engineering in California, when he took a position teaching civil engineering at Georgia Tech. They left around the time, as family lore goes, that I started counting "one, two, three, four, favh" to take a different life course in Southern Ohio.

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