Shirley And I: Little Black Girls . . . and Little White Girls
She was 5 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sang out “I Have A Dream” (08/1963)
She was 5 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated (11/1963)
She was 6 when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed giving her “equal rights” as whites
She was 8 when she went to 4th grade at the white school (1966, Louisiana)
She was 10 when Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated (11/22/1968)
“The Problem We All Live With” (Rockwell, 1964)
I was born a year after Dr. King made his famous “I Have A Dream” Speech
I was born 9 months after JFK was assassinated
I was 2 years old when Shirley started going to white school
I was 4 when Dr. King was assassinated 11/22/1968
I was 5 when I started military school across the ocean (Berlin, Germany)
I was 13 before I learned of Dr. King
We were two little girls, oceans apart
The world was changing . . . perhaps just for us
Thank you, Dr. King, for Shirley and I are among the
“little black . . . girls” and “little white . . . girls”
who now hold hands
who now sit in the same pew in Sunday Morning worship. . . together
who now sing together as we go about our work. . . together
Thank Dr. King, I hope you are happy that part of your dream is coming true.
Shirley and I are friends . . . sister-friends
Shirley and I enrich each other’s lives
Shirley and I share each other’s courage
Shirley and I help each other dream . . . as if we were King’s daughters . . .
dreaming together . . .
singing together . . .
I think you would be proud of us, Dr. King, but mostly of Shirley.
Shirley received a different type of treatment at the white school than I did
The day Shirley went to the white school, heavy load of hatred was thrust on her small soul to carry
. . . heavy enough to break the bones of the heart of a child
But she did not break
And she did not hate.
Today I am especially proud and excited for my friend, my sister, Shirley
Yesterday, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 2016, Shirley and I went together to celebrate at the
Martin Luther King Jr. March & Vigil
AND she picked up her new school books!
SO . . .
Tonight, after her full day of work. . .
Shirley will begin her first class of Graduate School!
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
They will be nice to her . . . even though the work may be difficult
Shirley will love it
Because . . .
Shirley has a dream. . .
and she has the Courage! to dream it. . .
and she has the Courage! to tolerate the discomforts of the “what if I fail” fears that come with dreaming . . .
and she moves towards it!
Dr. King’s Dream is coming true . . .Shirley and I are a testament to that dream, but especially Shirley.
Thank you Dr. King!
Congratulations Shirley! I Love You! You are WELL ABLE! (I’m practicing my shout.)