LETTER- Honor Dr. King on his day
As an educator at Tandem Friends School who values the significance of diversity, I was frustrated with and ashamed of "King's spring" [Photophile, January 18]. I thumbed the whole paper looking for an article or mention of events that had taken place in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. Nothing. I was disappointed in both the Hook and the C-ville for their lack of reflection on racial equality or any of a varied number of topics MLK stood for in our community.
Only one of five photos in your feature makes a direct reference to Dr. King. But the indirect statement is clear. In the one photo depicting Clarence Green and Gerald Soriano playing music, King's name is taped to an instrument and the letters FLAW are spelled out twice in the background. It struck me as an insult to see this photo surrounded by white families and couples doing things like playing tennis, golf, cycling, and eating ice cream. All of the captions talk about the weather.
I cannot fathom why the papers chose to ignore such events as The Harlem Gospel Choir's performance at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Why was there no one at Abundant Life's activities at the Boys and Girls Club/Burley School? They held an Awards Ceremony honoring individuals who have upheld King's ethos. Why are they any less newsworthy than people who played golf at Meadowcreek?
Recently I read that Black Enterprise sells more issues of the magazine when they have an African-American family on their cover than when they have a celebrity. I wondered when was the last time I saw an African-American family depicted on any page of either publication, let alone the cover.
Yes, I believe there is an undeniable flaw in picturing only white families celebrating MLK day and discussing the weather. Less than 40 years ago, things were not sunny for a huge part of our community. People were denigrated, lynched, and brutally killed, families were stricken, and Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. I believe this day deserves much more respect and recognition than it was given in either publication.
I hope that the editors of the papers pay tribute to African-American families and apologize for their lack of awareness. I see this as essential to bettering the state of our community and addressing the struggle for equality that still exists today. Please devote pages, please create a cover story, please devote an issue to this end– something.