This book, “Where Do We Go From Here” is the last book by Martin Luther King Jr. In it one can read his thoughts, experiences and his frustrations. He saw the picture of the blacks in America quite differently than the selected words used by many.
This book is a journey with him, a chance to walk around in his shoes and experience his inner thoughts, his worries, his fears, but most of all, his trip into the reality of the plight of a nation that was not colorblind. Where equal rights didn’t mean equal opportunity. He realized that government was not what it could and should have been.
Tears fill my eyes as I experience his heartfelt dilemma. Reading this book is a trip that not everyone should take. It is not an uplifting book of thoughts. It is the reality of one very unusual man’s journey through his life and ultimately his untimely murder. I now do not see his murder as an act of one man. I see it as a murder committed by our society itself.
I once thought that a statue of him in Washington was overkill. I do not believe that anymore. I believe that his life’s story should be part of every public and private schools learning experience. We need to let our children know the price of nonviolence is sometimes violence and we need to know who Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy was.
We need to memorize some of their most important words so that they will become part of our essence. We need less dates of wars in our history classes and more about the people who actually, by their lives, changed part of history.
Our children need to know that struggle is not bad, that sacrifice is sometimes good, that commitment is a way of life. We need to teach our history as if it really means something. History is not as dull as some teachers in our schools make it out to be. History is a living, breathing record of who we are now and why.
I read to learn. I paint to tell a little more of the entire story.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. He can be reached at 740-852-4906 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.