Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 6, 2008

April, 1968–Remembering

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunyprof @ 8:40 am

Like all of you this April, in April of ’68 I was in grad school–at Syracuse–in an M.A. program.

And like the nation I was stunned by the news of the murder of Martin Luther King. Not two months later it would be followed by the assassination of another of my heroes, Bobby Kennedy. A death equally incomprehensible to me.

But that April, as T.S. Eliot says, was indeed the cruelest month.

To help us all remember that time in our nation’s racial history do read this piece that appears in the Seattle Times. Betty Anderson was a high school junior when King was shot. Her personal memory of her own experience with prejudice and discrimination in 60’s America is a powerful reminder of the significance of this anniversary. KES



  1. When Betty mentioned the 18-hour drive to Louisiana, the huge box of food her mother packed and the “safe places” they stopped at… powerful recollections.

    Tonight on the History Channel there is a special on MLK, Jr.
    here’s the link.

    I remember reading John Howard Griffin’s BLACK LIKE ME in high school. It was very eye opening. I don’t know if any of you have read it?

    Looking back, to when, like Anderson says, “German shepherd attack dogs” were at the front of racism, it emphasizes how important it is to fight covert racism. Physical violence is an outward projection of the psychological torment descrimination inflicts.


    Comment by Joyce — April 6, 2008 @ 10:20 am

  2. Yes. Please, can we just admit that racism exists. Still, and in spite of “progress.”

    Reminds me of when I was teaching in Brooklyn: while watching Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in a classroom of 24 black students, one started to talk to his friend, mock the crowd’s reaction and laugh. I asked him to stop once. The second time, I sent him out of the class. Not my proudest moment, in some ways, but in other ways, for myself and the other students who were engaged and the few who were crying, it felt like the right thing to do.


    Comment by sostrom — April 8, 2008 @ 11:48 am

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