Saturday, January 17, 2009

Monday, Then Tuesday

From By Chance, Two Memorable Days by Mary Jo Patterson:

For Sheryl Goodine, an educator in Glen Cove, on Long Island, a rare moment to step back and think about the way the world has changed is about to occur: It will begin on Monday, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, and end the next day, with the inauguration of Barack Obama as president.

The two days fall side by side by a quirk of the calendar. Yet for Mrs. Goodine, and millions of other Americans, they are intertwined. The confluence of events, she says, has left her reeling, but in a good way.

“On Monday we celebrate Martin Luther King, and on Tuesday we celebrate our first black president. I have to punch myself sometimes — it’s hard to explain how I feel. It’s life-changing,” said Mrs. Goodine, 58, who long ago played a role in the nation’s civil rights movement herself.
“President-elect Obama’s success is definitely an exciting moment. But the civil rights movement should never be reduced to the success of one individual,” said Dr. West, who is an ordained minister. “There were so many other civil rights movement heroes.”
“As we stand at the brink of Obama’s inauguration, many people are connecting King and seeing the inauguration as a fulfillment of King’s dream,” Dr. Alderman said recently in Ithaca, N.Y., where he was consulting with public officials considering renaming a street. “That connection is very real and organic. But we shouldn’t see the civil rights movement as done. All the troubles with race and boundaries in America are not over.”

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