I looked through the eyes of John Wesley Dobbs, a statue of his face at the corner of Sweet Auburn and Fort Street to see shadows of the overpass fall on chipped paint pool halls and boarded up windows. I walked with Dr. King decades too late – as I usually am – and found few people lined up to remember him. With open admission to the museum in his honor, I’d found something free, at last, and there weren’t many there to enjoy it. His memorial brought tears to my eyes, as I thought of the sacrifices he made so that people could go stand in line and pay six dollars to learn the history of Coke without being discriminated against. I found it sad that people would rather pay to revel in commercialism than pay nothing for the history of freedom. I knelt at the eternal flame, praying for the “beloved community” the man who was laid to rest on the reflecting pool behind me had died for and begged God to send him back. Dr. King now rests on a reflecting pond for a reason – so that we may constantly reflect back on the words he said and the truths he spoke and apply them to our lives today.
This is an excerpt of The Rucksack Letters by Steve McAllister. your copy of the eBook now.