Saturday, September 24, 2011

I went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial this morning with my wife, my mother and one of her friends who was attending the Congressional Black Caucus conference with her. My wife and I got there first and two minutes later my mother and her friend joined us. Two minutes after that, after my mother's friend (I think her name was Tasha) and I introduced ourselves to one another, we had the following banter:

Her: You should all stand in front of the memorial and take a picture
Me: No I'm good
Her: Why not?
Me: I just think its kind of corny to take a picture in front of the memorial, I just want to be in the moment
Her: Really? You don't want a family picture? Wow..ok.. (and then she rolled her eyes and walked off

Now, because this woman works with my mother, I did not curse her the f**k out and get indignant with her, but I was awfully close. I then told my mother that I probably was not verbalizing my feelings about not wanting the pictures properly, but I meant what I said.

There were all kinds of people posing around the MLK statue. Some were throwing up their sorority signs, some were standing by some of the quotes that were etched in walls, and it just looked juvenile and corny--but perhaps I am being too hard on folks. I think the MLK memorial should be about reflecting, thinking, teaching, crying (like my mother did) or just flat out being awe-inspired about this man's life. It is called being in the moment, and I just don't think the photographers and the posers were doing that and it annoyed me..and so did my mother's friend who rolled her eyes.

After she walked away, my mother, my wife and I walked around to each one of MLK's quotes and soaked up the moment. My mother reflected a bit and starting crying initially, then she talked to us about the greatness of MLK, the sadness she felt that he didn't get to finish his work, and the amazement she felt that he accomplished so much before he was killed at 39. I won't capture the full moment here, but it was awesome. And not one picture was needed. I highly recommend you attend

Now what I DID take a picture of was the copy of the May 1986 Sports Illustrated I bought on the way home. My second favorite player ever was on the cover (James Worthy, Kareem was my all time fave), and I remember putting this up on my wall. Good times.

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