Image from Clattery Machine
I love America. My country is the finest, most generous in the world, and unabashedly, I say, I love America. Perfect? No. Has She made hideous mistakes? Yes. Is She yet my country? Yes.
When I was a youngster, still in grade school, I vividly recall reading a series of books that I learned later were called, The Great American Series. They were hardcover volumes, colored orange and green as I recall, with black and white illustrations on the inside pages. I devoured those books. As I thought of those this morning, two titles quickly came to mind: one was Jane Addams; the other was George Washington Carver. I recall that the beginning of his book told of George Washington Carver and his mother, already slaves on the Carver plantation, being stolen by slave traders. The book honestly records his pitiful life and yet glowingly speaks of his intelligence, his sweet disposition and his rising from those chains until he became one of America’s greatest educators and agricultural researchers.
There are ugly stains on our history, and certainly slavery is the most hideous. I love America. I love my country because we have seen mistakes that we made in the past, have grappled with our imperfection and are striving for perfection. Thank God, and thank our leaders, and thank the peoples of the United States of America, there is no longer slavery in my country.
Forty years ago today, a terrible thing occurred. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Dr. King, a scholarly man, fully in control of his emotions, was making significant strides toward resolving racial inequalities in America. I honor his work and his memory today by this post, and by a video of his memorable speech, I Have A Dream.