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This Oklahoma Life: MLK Day

A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Such a distinguished-looking man. I bet he’s seen a lot. There was a tiny feather on the side of his hat, a homage to days of lore.
If only I could know everything he knows, I’d probably be alright.

Freedom March in Oklahoma City in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
MLK north of NE 23rd Street | Oklahoma City | 9:20 a.m., January 16, 2012

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” – MLK, Jr.

I caught this good-lookin’ bunch of folks walking on Prospect Avenue south of NE 23rd Street. They were with the American Red Cross and were handing out smoke alarms.

Click here to see more photos of the MLK Freedom March.

From Dr. King:
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”


Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Friar

    I notice when i posted it that it was in the old format and figured it was something like that when it didn’t show. No worries.

  2. jenx67

    I published your last comment, but for some reason when it appeared it was in the old format. This has happened a few times since using Disqus. I have no clue as to why. It appeared in the old dotted box format instead of Disqus. I published it, but it’s gone. ??? I hope this doesn’t keep happening! Anyway, I didn’t want you to think I deleted it. =/

  3. Friar

    That’s certainly a possibility; I can’t claim I know from the inside what a black person goes through in a day. And nobody can be as mopey-looking as a teen, whether the problems are imagined or, like the ones in your pictures, have much more reality to them in the form of racial issues yet to be dealt with.

    Like you, I think it may be that our elders who’ve seen this transformation are happy because they were told things were awful, they knew things were awful, and they can now see that things aren’t as awful. The same displays of racism that would have gone unnoticed when they were younger can get you fired today or just about ruin your career if you’re in the public eye. Few white people would accept racially segregated restrooms or lunch counter bans, let alone African-Americans.

    Maybe if our peers and our juniors had been told, “We’ve come a long way but we’ve still got some finishing to do” it might have changed the feelings about some racial issues or about their lives.

  4. jenx67

    I’ve been trying to figure this out because, as you can imagine, I have dozens of pictures I didn’t post. All the young people seem so sad. But, I think for the older folks – the Silent Generation – they’ve seen a Black man elected president. It happened in their lifetimes. And, perhaps with age comes a greater sense of peace and happiness. We shall overcome, and a sense that we have. I mean, we have come a long way. This is one I’m going to be turning over in my mind for awhile. Mostly, the notion that we can think we’ve come a long way and all the Pew studies can tell us we’re growing colorblind, but I think racism is a daily part of these youths lives. The march brought it all home to them. How long will we have to march? Maybe forever.

  5. Friar

    Although this comment may sound like it has political overtones, I don’t intend any. But I wondered if the older people you photographed were smiling because the message they heard that inspired their quest was that, “No matter how often you’re told you’re nobody or that you are less than another, it’s wrong.” I don’t know if that’s the message younger African-Americans have heard as much, and I can’t help but think that made many – though not all, certainly – of the original civil rights advocates the “happy warriors” we see in pictures. Even the poster of King – a part of the Silent generation, if I remember right – held by the one young man shows him smiling.

  6. jenx67

    I luv your natural tan, babe.

  7. jenx67

    Those folks from the Red Cross were terrific. Some of the happiest, most willing people I’ve ever photographed.

  8. Rose Byrd

    Jen, your post shows such are respectful and insightful attitude towards the ongoing march to justice and freedom and peace and love amongst “ALL of God’s Chillun!”  Great bunch you photocaptured working for the Red Cross!

  9. Rob

    MLK was a great man and had a vision for everyone to live free and peaceful. Racism and slavery are not just for those with natural tans. The Romans and Nazi’s mostly owned fair skinned slaves. Great professional photography. 

  10. TerritoryMom

    Beautiful!  You always capture a person’s essense.  Well done!

  11. jenx67

    He was so happy. I was more curious about that than I was about those who seemed so sad and serious. He has a lot of stories to tell. I wish I’d gotten his name.

  12. Andi Fisher

    I love that first photos, don’t you just want to site down with him and a cup a coffee and hear his life story?

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