Okay, my title may be a bit misleading. I’m not sure how much attention Charlotte is actually paying to this weekend’s coverage for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. But, if she were asked about it and what it meant, she’d know. Why? Because she had an extraordinary English teacher in first grade.
In celebration of MLK Day, 2012, Charlotte’s class learned about the Dr.. King, what he sought, and what he taught. Afterward, all the children wrote letters to the Dr. King. This is Charlotte’s:
Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King for making Peace, Love and Dreams. Sharing Dreams to do that is everything I can ask for. I think your amasing [sic] work has done so well. To me your [sic] the best and your dream came true all over the world. I belive [sic] in your success for changing the bad laws for everyone. Kids, grown-ups men, women, baby girl and boys . Booooooooooo hate! Yeh love boo war yeh peace.
I’m not saying her grammar was perfect. And certainly at 7 years old, she had some spelling to learn, but I was so proud of this letter. I only wish that her belief in the worldwide fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream were true. And I wish that her current belief, that if children were allowed to negotiate we’d have world peace in a jiffy, were true.
I relish that she does not yet understand hate, and is not yet aware that in some countries there are children who are forced into waging war and killing others, or forced into prostitution. She knows, but doesn’t “get,” that there are kids who don’t have enough to eat, don’t get to go to school, and struggle in ways she’ll never understand. I hope her innocence and ideals last a bit longer.
I fervently hope that together Charlotte, Philippe, and I might see Dr. King’s dream come true. And I hope that Charlotte’s newest goal, “to be responsible for world peace,” is one she can stick to!
Rest in peace, Dr. King. Your dreams and words live on in our hearts.
- 50th anniversary of March on Washington (tv.msnbc.com)
- Marching for King’s dream: ‘The task is not done’ (sfgate.com)