Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone!

When I lived in Alaska during the 5th grade, I attended Fairview elementary school in Anchorage. I can distinctly remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech, and the song Lift Every Voice and Sing, as being a part of my grade's curriculum. We were quizzed on memorizing the speech, and sung the song as a chorus in music class. Learning it in school made it feel no different than any other subject, helping me incorporate it into my life just like the A-B-C's or 1-2-3's. No one in school ever had the slightest thoughts even close to second-guessing what we were being taught, or harbored any reluctance on accepting everything as anything but fact, history, and as a truth we should all aspire to live by as young people. It was taught as a norm and that as a country, something America never intended on going backwards on. Instead, it was simply a foundation to grow and embrace as we all live together side-by-side.

And now as an adult, I don't see how the views of so many diverge from what was taught to generations like myself as a standard of kindness, humanity, and being American. Young people today should still be able to live in a world where I Have a Dream and Lift Every Voice and Sing continue to serve as the beacons of hope and progress they've always been, without all the crazy background noise of the current administration and emboldened racists out there.

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