I was only 10 years old when Martin Luther King, Jr., was cut down in the prime of his life, and in the prime of him making a huge difference in American civil rights. I remember that April day as I was getting ready for school, and my heart dropped. I had only recently become aware of him, because, let’s face it: what white kid living in a lily-white suburb of New Jersey had a stake in civil rights?
There was something about Dr. King that I intrinsically loved. And it was probably that I perceived him to be a good dad. My own home was a battlefield, with no place to hide but the space I’d carved out next to the furnace in the basement where I was able to plug in a record player and learn to play the guitar.
As the years of adolescence passed, I learned more and more about Dr. King. And the more I learned, the more I admired him, and his strength and courage.
Today, as we honor his work, and his enduring legacy, I remember him as not just a man who made a huge difference in the civil rights of generations to come, but I remember him as a good dad. My condolences to his children and grandchildren. Rest in peace, Dr. King.