Thursday, August 28, 2008

Martin Luther King Triangle - Mott Haven

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”

The great Dr. King spoke these immortal words 45 years ago today and they still send chills down the collective spine of most Americans. The Bronx has been paying a small tribute to the great civil rights leader ever since his assassination by renaming The Triangle at Austin Place and East 149th Street in his honor.

According to the webpage of New York City Parks & Recreation: “Mott Haven is an appropriate place for a memorial to Dr. King. Before the Civil War (1861-1864), the area was the site of two stations on the Underground Railroad. The Fugitive Slave Act had decreed that slave owners could come north to search for runaway slaves. One place where a slave on the road to freedom could hide was the villa of Charles Van Doren, which stood at East 145th Street and Third Avenue. Another was the Mott Haven Dutch Reformed Church, which still stands on East 146th Street.”

With Barack Obama’s much anticipated acceptance speech taking place tonight at The Democratic Convention, August 28th becomes even more of a monumentally historic day.

~Simone Davis

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