When I was about 3 or 4 years old, Martin Luther King was making
headlines in the news. I heard about him on the news, but never made
the connection that "King" was his name. I thought he was an actual
King. I would stand up on the fireplace hearth with a blanket wrapped
around me, proclaiming myself as Martin Luther "King."
The Civil Rights Movement and related racial tensions of the 1960s
have always been close to me for some reason. I'm not of African
descent. In fact, to most people I appear as white. I'm half American
Indian, and I've endured my share of racial epithets from that alone.
Perhaps that's why I've always related to civil rights closely.
I have a friend who is a bit farther up the autism spectrum than I. He
has kindly offered to take me on a trip across the country to visit
his family in Alabama. I'll be visiting family in Florida and Texas
(which is along the way). But we will be driving through Selma,
Alabama. Much happened there, including the beginnings of the marches
toward Montgomery. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the bridge
at the start of those marches, and perhaps any local museums about the
civil rights movement.
Part of me feels as if it's a coming-home for me. I've never been in
Alabama, and to my knowledge none of my family is there. But still,
something about the south has always felt like home to me.