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Friday, April 4

Dr. King. It's Been 40 Years

Dr Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis on this day in 1968. He led non violent campaigns against discrimination and segregation yet after his assassination, there were riots in hundreds of cities across America.

I must be getting quite old since I can remember 40 years ago quite clearly. I was in 7th grade. The nuns sent us home from school and told us to stay indoors for a couple of days. They closed the school. I remember that the next day was warm and sunny and we all rode our bikes to a park in a black neighborhood to show our solidarity. Our parents didn't know what we were doing. A year later, the local public high school was burned to a crisp by demonstrating students. The school was predominantly black since most white people in my town were Catholic and Catholic kids went to Catholic schools at that time in history. And yes, there were black Catholic kids at our school too. We didn't have official segregation but we did notice as kids that although we all lived in the same town and played together after school, the white kids didn't go to school with the black kids so much, unless they had so many kids in the family that the parents couldn't afford to send 6 of them to private school simultaneously.

Do you remember where you were that day?

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