A Civil Rights Story

Hello everybody. Today America celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, I have one objection to make: I don’t like the name. It’s not I don’t like the holiday, but that I think it misrepresents the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement for racial equality was not just only about Martin Luther King. Maybe it is true that he made perhaps the biggest sacrifice, but there were other African Americans and minorities as well that also sacrificed their well-being for the greater good. If I could, I would change this holiday into being called “Civil Rights Day.”

Basically, there are much more stories out there besides MLK’s. One story I found in the Los Angeles Times. It was an obituary on an African-American who has died just last Thursday, by the name of James A. Hood. Everybody has heard of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, but yet this man is equally important to the Civil Rights Movement and should be honored on equal measures too.

If you don’t recall this in your history class, James Hood was one of two black students who were blocked from entering the University of Alabama by infamous Governor Wallace. President Kennedy had to send armed troops to let them enter in, and it quickly became an important civil rights topic.

Read the LA Times obituary on James Hood here: James A Hood Obituary. (click link)

I don’t know why, but I feel touched by this story. Despite Governor Wallace being a racist and despite James being prevented from enrolling by him, they later had a long-lasting friendship. This is perhaps representative of the American Dream- where two people, once split by their skin color and by their attitudes, eventually become friends and can mingle with one another. As in the quotes of Martin Luther King, “I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.” What a beautiful picture. Anyway, happy…

P.S. Note that the “governor” MLK was referring too was actually Governor Wallace himself.


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