"If a man is 37 years old, as I am, and compromises what he believes in or knows to be true just because he wants to live a little longer or a little more comfortably, then he may live until he's 87, but his physical death is merely a belated announcement of a much earlier death of the spirit."--Martin Luther King Jr. (ca. 1966)
Martin Luther King would have been 87 years old this weekend. We've arrived.
[The year] 1966 was also [when] he set up a family residence in Chicago and continued his (ultimately successful) protests against de facto segregation and poor conditions in Chicago public schools. As part of Dr. King's campaign, he made a speech to a crowd assembled at what is now the Midway Plaisance Park area of the south side of Chicago, adjacent to the University of Chicago campus. I was a graduate student at the university then, and the chance was too good to miss. Out of curiosity as much as anything else, I strolled the several blocks to be part of the throng, and worked my way up to perhaps within 100 feet of the great man.
Wouldn't you know it! In the middle of his compelling speech that afternoon he said this: "A lot of you are here just out of curiosity. But will you be with us tomorrow when we march on City Hall?"
Called out! I felt strongly (as did probably half the people in that crowd) that he was looking at me directly when he said that. Of course I (and thousands of others) did go that next day. The march resulted in the ouster of then Superintendent of Schools...