A tribute to MLK
In honor of Black History Month, the following letter was written by a young African-American woman named Tatiana Bailey – who wrote this when she was 10 years old. She is now a junior in high school in Hampton, Va., a member of the National Honor Society, and plans to become a sports lawyer. This letter was submitted by Patricia Gustafson of Wolford, who has known Tatiana since the girl was in fourth grade. Her son is friends with Tatiana’s uncle.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did a lot of things in his lifetime to help so many people in this world, both black and white, so that we may all be free and feel free. Because of Dr. King, I am able to hold hands with my white sisters and brothers and not be afraid. I can talk and play with my friends or with any other kids when I am out at the park or even at the doctor’s office. These places used to be segregated or separate, not all that long ago.
I feel very comfortable in these places today and not afraid. When I go shopping at white owned stores, I pay for the items I get without the owner looking at me strange. In this life as a little black girl, I have been in TV reports and a TV commercial, so I can see the Black people are making progress. There are some white people that attend the church I attend, and I am able to talk to them without any acts of hate.
It took 15 years to make January 15th a national holiday in honor of Dr. King. Now, I look forward to this day every year so I can be in the community marching with my sisters and brothers. I do not have to be afraid of the cops harming me while we are marching.
Since the bus boycott Dr. King led in Alabama, I have ridden on the bus and I am able to sit anywhere I please. Public busses are for the public and not for one race.
I am a proud little black girl and I feel equal to my white sisters and brothers. I am accepted anywhere my family takes me. When my family takes me out, I sit beside white kids and I speak to them and I don’t feel ashamed. I go to the pool and enjoy myself. I don’t have to worry about being harmed by others just I am a little black girl in the swimming pool.
I feel Dr. King’s message and dream is still active today. We are able to do a lot of things and go to a lot of places and feel free. I have been to places my grandparents take me that once catered to whites only, but now they are for anyone. I am proud to sing in public places and pray together with my sisters and brothers. I feel free, and thanks to Dr. King we all are free.