Martin Luther King

I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland Ohio, called Cleveland Heights. My family moved there during the Summer, right after I turned six years old. Though not a perfect place, the Cleveland Heights/University Heights School system was (in my opinion) decades ahead of it’s time. Though I struggled with my identity as a black boy growing up in the 70s, I count it a blessing that my mom saw fit to move us to a place where children of African, Asian, and European decent who were Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist lived in the same neighborhoods, played in band together, and played together on sports teams and theatre groups. We ate at the same tables. We fought and we argued, we sometimes called each other names and made disparaging remarks about the ethnicities of others. We all brought everything we’d learned up until then, along with us to school and out on the block when we played. We weren’t perfect, no. But, there were a whole lot of “somebodies” who saw enough of the big picture to let us be together and strive together, for “The Dream”. This country struggles still, with issues that were created long before any of us existed. But, we keep making progress little-by-little. Today, I’m thankful that my home country is at least beginning to catch up with my little home town of Cleveland Heights. Let’s all keep growing up together! Let’s make “The Dream” a full reality for our children in the coming generations. Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King. Thank you for lighting the way for us!

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