Monday, January 17, 2011

The Day Dad Met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My father, James B. Redd, is a 1965 graduate of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. When he was a sophomore, he and a couple of his friends went to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak at the Hutchinson Missionary Baptist Church.

The church, located on Grove Street, was a block or so away from dad’s dormitory. In true Redd fashion, Dad and his pals arrived early and garnered a seat near the front. Luckily for them they did because the crowd was standing room only. Security was tight—inside and outside the church.

As expected, Dr. King gave a riveting and awe inspiring speech. To this day, Dad says it is the best speech he has ever heard. After the service, Dad stood in line to meet the great orator and possibly get his autograph.

“Hello, young man,” said Dr. King.

Dad nodded his head in a show of respect, too nervous to respond, shook Dr. King’s hand, got his autograph, and that was it.

Dad doesn’t know what happened to the autograph but he describes that moment as one he will never forget.

No comments:

Post a Comment