Words from Dr. King……….

January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


January is the month we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His life and his words continue to inspire us every day. Enjoy some of my favorite quotes of Dr. King below, with some of my own photos.


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. “
Sunset photo taken on Friday, August 7, 1964 on the silent march to the funeral of James Chaney in Meridian, Mississippi


“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. “


Children in Meridian, Ms., in front of COFO office, Freedom Summer 1964


“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”


Meridian, Ms. students with civil rights worker, Freedom Summer 1964

“Anyone can be great, because anyone can serve.”

Published in: on December 17, 2006 at 11:20 am  Comments (3)  

Meridian, Ms. visit

As the year is coming to a close, I find myself reviewing many of the events of the past year. 2006 was a year of reunions. I returned to Meridian, Ms. once again to shoot more footage for my documentary. This time I took Jorel Robinson who had just graduated from Metro High School in Cedar Rapids so he could experience first hand some of the places I had worked. We filmed he and Alice Robertson in thoughtful conversation about their “Different Worlds” (working title of the documentary) and then added Obey Clark, another Meridian native and civil rights activist to the discussion. The picture below was taken of the four of us after one of our thought provoking discussions.


Obey Clark, Alice Robertson, Patti Miller, Jorel Robinson 

Published in: on December 10, 2006 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Solon High School

Stride for Freedom class

Todd Kopecky (in front) and his students at Solon High School, Stride for Freedom class

In the small town of Solon, Iowa, tucked in between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, sits your typical Iowa high school. I know, because my dad was principal at such a school in Iowa for his entire professional career. But high schools today are very different than the one my dad oversaw. Computers in every classroom, students who are bombarded with the latest technology which delivers more to their awareness than can be imagined, and a stress level that Iowa educators could never even imagine in the 40’s and 50’s when Dad donned his suit and tie for work everyday. But something I experienced at Solon this week gave me the hope that I was looking for in the midst of the craziness of this new 21st Century. In a nutshell, it was Todd Kopecky. He’s the teacher in the photo above, standing in front of some of the students in his Stride Toward Freedom class at Solon. “Why”, I asked myself “is an essentially all-white small town high school offering an elective in the history of the African American experience in this country?” Todd explained that he had inherited the class from Denny Gruber, the teacher before him who had taught this class for 25 years! And Denny couldn’t have put his brainchild into better hands. Todd’s students obviously respect him……….a lot! And it is well-earned respect, I could tell from the hour and a half I spent with the class. I was most impressed with the compassion the students had obviously developed as they learned about the civil rights struggle in this country, especially in the 50’s and 60’s. I heard the words “I can’t believe how African Americans were treated” more times than I could count. Todd had obviously opened another world to these students, and they got it! And the best part was that he related history to their lives today – the importance of how we all treat each other moment to moment in those little encounters that we think don’t make a difference – but are the most important of all.

I’m concerned about what I view as a continued wide gap between so many “groups” in our culture, not just black and white. But when I meet a Todd Kopecky, I know that healthy and strong seeds are being planted in the young people of Solon. And who knows which of those young people may be one of many to inspire others in the future? We need new inspiration to challenge us to overlook our differences. There must be a way to help re-create the Beloved Community that I was blessed to know, if only for a moment, in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s.

Published in: on December 6, 2006 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  


Thank you for visiting my Blog. It’s a new month and a new undertaking for me. What you will find here will be my own thoughts, thoughts of others and hopefully your thoughts, as this grows. Please visit my Speaking Engagements page to see if I might be visiting near you. Make this as interactive as you like. If we’ve met or even if we haven’t, feel free to comment. It’s a new adventure and I hope we’ll grow together in this. Let me know what you think of my website also.




Published in: Uncategorized on December 1, 2006 at 12:20 pm  Comments (3)