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EIRNS/James Rea
Amelia Boynton Robinson, November 2007 in Germany.

Amelia Boynton Robinson Remembers
Martin Luther King

Tuskegee, Alabama,
January 18, 2008

Almost 40 years ago, since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, the world has gone through many phases of changes, physically, degradation of our world; educationally, corruption in the public schools; socially, a little more race tolerance; and morally, many young people have lost faith in the future. Often in speaking of the 1950s and ’60s, the name Martin Luther King permeates most conversations especially on his birthday, and Black History Month, which is February. Dr. Martin Luther King’s messages were inspired by One Who was greater than he, that is, by God. My experience riding with him, made me realize this. He was this country’s philosophical spiritual leader, a role model, father, husband, and as well as a son. Thus, as this kind of leader, he inspired millions worldwide to love, rather than hate, do unto others as they would have done unto them.

Dr. King

Dr. King was not the brightest or most astute student in school. When he was at Morehouse College, President Mays remarked in that,“Martin has a very brilliant mind, and will go a long way in life.” At age 15, Martin was in a speaking contest. In it he said,“And with my brothers’ blackest hue, possessing my African heritage, holding my head erect will stand among the Saxons, with head high and erect, a Negro and yet a man.” As Martin grew in stature and in wisdom, certainly he reflected on that 15-year-old speech he made. He endured more than most men. When Rosa Parks sat on the Montgomery, Alabama bus, and he became the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, great responsibilities were placed upon him. The hate and arrogance as well as haters of color, induced a weak-minded black woman to stab him in New York. But a white girl wrote to him,“The doctor said if you had sneezed, you would have died. I am glad you did not sneeze.” Dr. King knew then that hate had no race or color, and love and peace could change the attitudes of the most evil mind.

I would like to relate an incident that I witnessed, as a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and as a board member, we were arranging the celebration of our 50th anniversary in Philadelphia, and Dr. King was to deliver the main address. He was in New York, and would come to Philadelphia by train, and he could be picked up at Philadelphia’s 30th St. Station. The president, Mrs. Anna Lee Stuart, asked me to go with the driver of the car to pick him up. As she was engaged in conversation with me, she said,“Please ask Dr. King to speak against the Vietnam War.” Of course, I promised her I would. In meeting him, we talked as he settled down in the car, and I said,“Dr. King, President Stuart told me to ask you to please, in your speech, speak against the Vietnam War.” Silence fell in the car. He placed his hands under his chin, and did not utter a word for at least 30 seconds. Then he said,“The time is not right. When that time comes, I will hit it.” And hit it, he did. From the podium, and the pulpits, from the auditoriums, to the athletic fields, he told the nation of the ungodly war for the profits of the chosen few.

The incident of Dr. King’s silence made me know, that he was in touch with God, Who guided him. When Dr. King was killed, we were all saddened. Many of us, angry. But like all of us, we are here for a purpose. We have a quota to fill, and when we have completed that task, our Maker says,“Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” God did not want Dr. King’s enemies to destroy him. But before leaving us, Dr. King to a degree changed the course of the entire world.

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