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shed a little light

Growing up as a child of the sixties in the South, I was colorblind. My world was life on a farm where the majority of the population consisted of a large loving family of black landowners and farmers. Son and Lockie were at the head of this brood and their house was right across the road from ours. My favorite thing to do when I was bored was to gather the eggs in their huge henhouse and deliver them to Miss Lockie. My naive child self would stand and gawk in horror when they chopped the heads off of those chickens and they ran headless around the yard. I supppose it never really dawned on me that there were no black children in my class at school until integration began when I was in the fifth grade. Vernell was the lone African American child in my class that year, and to me it was no big deal. To others....well. You know the history.

Dyersburg is 80 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee home of Graceland and the former Lorraine Motel. Just a few hours after he delivered this speech Dr. King, in Memphis to support striking city sanitation workers, was gunned down on the balcony of the Lorraine by James Earl Ray. Memphis is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum and is remembered as the place where a great man who believed in equality and justice was slain as he worked for peace.

In the words of James Taylor:
"Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King......."

Photo by: Mike Maple, The Commercial Appeal
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