What was the South like before Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech? I remember. I was there. I was raised in a small Southern town. When we went shopping in a nearby Southern City, I was laughed at when I drank out of one of the two side-by-side water fountains. I was told that I had drunk out of the water fountain reserved for black people, and white people were expected to drink out of the other water fountain. It was a time
of separate rest rooms for black people and for white people. It was a time of separate public schools for black people and for white people. It was a time for separate State Parks for black people and for white people. No black people attended my public high school--they were sent to a nearby all-black high school. Of course, the elementary public school that I attended was the same. The nationally ranked university that I attended from was the same--no black students were allowed to enroll in it until 1963, and then under Federal Court Order. Many motels, restaurants, and lunch counters were closed to black people throughout the South. During that time, my Father had told me that Jews were treated in the North in the same manner that black people were treated in the South.
Kenneth Stepp salutes Martin Luther King, Jr. A wise man once said that the philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next century. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a twentieth century American philosopher who held his countrymen to the promise of the American Declaration of Independence that "All Men Are Created Equal". Now, in America, it is common sense to conclude that all men are created equal, and the segregated schools, lunch counters, water fountains, restrooms, motels, restaurants, and State Parks are all gone--and forgotten by most people. Most Americans are too young to remember them. For Martin Luther King, Jr. they were real, and he went to jail in the struggle to end them.
You have a happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day Monday, O.K.?